An uncanny ‘Terrain Vague’: Yedikule Gasometer Complex

As new spaces add new experiences to the urban life, the spaces that were pre- viously deemed valuable turn into vague areas. These areas, which hosted various experiences once, has been forgotten in some way, left behind and remained idle. The concept of “Terrain Vague” that was brought up once more by the Catalan ar- chitect De Sola-Morales twenty years ago is a unique tool to examine these areas. When the recent past of Istanbul is examined, a countless number of industrial production buildings and facilities, which have lost their functions completely, become visible as perfect “Terrain Vague”. De Sola-Morales’ asks “How can architecture act in the terrain vague without becoming an aggressive instrument of power and abstract reason?” The answer to this significant question will be looked for in the examination of Yedikule Gas- ometer Complex. This complex still bears the marks of Istanbul’s industrial past and could be described as “Terrain Vague” within the current use of the term. The values that Yedikule Gasometer introduces to the urban life, its current uses and modes of being vague will be analyzed. The analyses will be discussed through the concept of ‘uncannny’ and by adopting the approach of Surrealism to these types of spatial situations.


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