UIA2005 Istanbul

Context – CITIES: Grand Bazaar of Architectures

Context – CITIES: Grand Bazaar of Architectures

Context – CITIES: Grand Bazaar of Architectures

Context – CITIES: Grand Bazaar of Architectures

International Union of Architects (UIA), representing over a million architects from nearly 100 countries, is the premier organization for cooperation and interaction among professionalassociations of architects worldwide. Organised every three years since 1948, the UIA WorldCongresses are congregational platforms where current issues of architecture, urbanism andenvironment are addressed.

The UIA world congresses are a forum for professional and cultural exchange among all the world’s architects, and bring together thousands of participants from around the globe. Each event focuses on a pertinent theme, developed by eminent personalities from the international architectural, planning, and construction fields. Debates, exhibitions, tours and festivals make them the perfect meeting place for colleagues and friends, and students of architecture are always welcome.

The Congress is next to the United Nations’ Habitat Conference inscope and size; it is attended by an average of 7,000 people each day, during more than a week with its side programs. The XXIInd Congress took place in 2005 in Istanbul, hosted by the Chamber of Architects of Turkey from 3rd to 7th July.

7 composition by BdM


The woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. … Here is the mind which hath wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth. Revelation 17:18,9

Today, the city forgets its image, form and geography. For UIA2005 XXIInd Congress, Bert de Muynck presents 7 as a visual interpretation of cities built on the apocalyptic topography of seven hills. 7 explores seven hills cities: Brussels, Rome, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Istanbul and Amman. All equal in topography, all resembling and differing from the other. 7 is a mythical-critical interpretation of the image of these cities, broadens, resurrects and focuses on the accidental encounter between apocalypse, hill and metropolis.

Istanbul, 2004


The contemporary city transforms itself into a free market of ideologies, cultures,morphologies, skyscrapers, shoppingmalls, infrastructures and architectures. In a rapidly changing world one tends to forget the image, form and geography of the city. What is that great city with the seven heads? In an ongoing research on the Contemporary City, this paper explores the image of cities with the seven heads: Brussels, Rome,Lisbon, Edinburgh, Istanbul and Amman. Almost all Capital Cities (Belgium, Italy,Portugal, Scotland, and Jordan) dealing with the topography of seven hills. All strangely resembling to each other, each differing from each other. The one is the European Capital, the other the cradle of Western Civilization, the other an earthquake resisting city exploring its bay as a World Expo, another a Scottish capital, another the luring hub between East and West and the last one the booming secret of the Middle East. In combination with the display section I give an historical overview of the major urban dilemmas these cities faced the last century. Seven gives a theoretical background and analytical framework how this cities grew (mostly during the twentieth century) in logical political, cultural and urban progression from core and walled city over high-rise development on the hot spots on the ridges, transformation in the valleys till (condensed) sprawl enlarges the city into a Metropolis.

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During the UIA 2005 XXIInd Congress [2005, Istanbul] Bert de Muynck lectured on 7, myth and topography on 5th of July 2005 at 15.00 in main Congress Hall G1, Lufti Kirdar Convention Center, Istanbul, Turkey.