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Austro – Turk Tobacco Factory in Terms of Collective Memory

Architectural buildings which make up the landscape of the city are the main structures connecting the past, present and the future of the city. The relation with the past is a reference to the relation with the present and the future. These are the main elements which comprise the collective memory of the society and reflect the awareness of the city dwellers.

One example of this is the tobacco warehouse in İzmir, built up in 1951 by an Austrian tobacco company called Austro-Turk. When closed down in 1994, the two buildings which belonged to the company were left abondened since they had no function anymore. These two buildings, designed by Austrian architects and completed between the years 1950-51, are very important in terms of the collective memory of the city.

Although Austro-Turk Tobacco Company was located in the centre of the city and occupied a large area, these two buildings were totally lost and forgotten over time.They turned into buildings nobody cared about in mid 1990’s, solely because they were abondened and not taken care of. However, they gained visibility with the PORTİZMİR trienal. These buildings, like all historical buildings, have strong historical and social memory.

When looked from a distance, one can easily feel both anger and sadness in the context of city memory and identity.

When looked from a distance, cold-looking as it is, right in the center of the city, yet in a dark and enclosed  area so that noone can enter, therefore touch or feel, the history hidden inside  is unknown to the city people.

At present, since they were bought by a holding, the agenda is that they will be pulled down and a shpping mall will be erected instead.

İzmir - Turkey