Istanbul

Late in 2012, Eva participated in the Matchmaking Programme of the NAI (Dutch Institute of Architecture) and the Galata Greek School Foundation in Istanbul. Eva’s role as an expert in that area was to direct the workshops with architects in order to come up with a collective plan for the redevelopment of the old, historic Greek School in the centre of Istanbul.

The population with Greek-orthodox roots in Istanbul, also called the Rum, has shrunk during the twentieth century: from 200,000 souls to around 2,000 people. Many buildings once belonging to the Rum have been confiscated by the government and stand abandoned. A change in the law in 2011 makes reclaiming property that once belonged to a religious minority possible. The Galata Greek School was the first building  to be reclaimed by the Rum.

How can an empty school building get a new purpose  in the historic centre of Istanbul? What role can architecture play in the repurposing of a monument? And how can an empty building become a reference point for the once widespread Greek minority in Istanbul? These were the central questions during Match Making.

The idea was presented to the Rum community, the architects, and the cultural programmers of Istanbul in November of 2012. The ideas formulated during the symposium formed the starting point for Dutch and Turkish participants of the workshops a month later.

The Matchmaking project has resulted in a coherent collection of ideas with different scenarios for the repurposing of the Galata School.