Dror’s Radical Vision for a Net-Positive Island Community


The government of is considering the possibility of constructing a second canal in Istanbul that would result in carving out one billion cubic meters of soil from ’s main land. In response, Turkish developer Serdar Inan has commissioned New York designer Dror Benshetrit to design a proposal that would reconstitute the soil into an innovative, net-positive community for 300,000 residents off the shore of Istanbul. Inan’s only wish is that the proposal blends “innovative design ideas, state of the art technology and cultural legacy with inspirations from the work of chief Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan”.

After six months of exploratory, interdisciplinary discourse with a team of experts – such as the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Buro Happold, Shoji Sadao from Fuller, Sadao & Zung Architects – Dror has unveiled his radical vision this weekend at Istanbul Design Week. Check it out after the break.

Dror has envisioned the net-positive island of HavvAda, measuring 3km long in diameter with a 1km diameter valley in the center. The lush island is bordered by 6 uniquely sized hills that surround the downtown center of the land. Each hill up rises on top of a mega geodesic dome that supports hillside residences and a community life at the center. The entire design relies mostly on compression and tensional integrity, ensuring maximum structural efficiency by combining the geometry of the sphere and the triangle.

© Dror

Studio Dror describes: “Traditionally, communities have built their residential areas around the center of the town where political decisions or trade was made, and spiritual and religious temples were built – the community would grow around those centers with extended skirts of residence buildings and neighborhoods. The center valley of the island offers ideal space and planning for parks and recreation centers. Some of the buildings are covered with green living-roof. They fade in the natural environment in an organic way, while contributing to the constant energy recycling of the island.”

© Dror

HavvAda’s hills create six culturally unique micro-environments that interconnect on a 3D urban grid. Each is supported by a geodesic dome that grows from the island’s core. The mega-structures, ranging from 230 meters to 400 meters, are cloaked with a strong, light weight “mega-mesh” that shapes the hills and acts as the infrastructural grid of the island. Buildings expand horizontally, circling the hills at different levels and integrating hillside residences and a personal rapid transportation system of cable cars and walkways.

© Dror

Activity centers are housed in the heart of each hill’s geodesic dome with easy access to the transportation systems, residences and the downtown. These centers offer education, entertainment, health and sport facilities as well as business districts.

All six micro-environments produce more energy than it consumes. Each hill may present its own eco-system with a fully integrated energy renewal operation. The hill slopes can include energy recycling systems connected to one another and to the valley at the center of the island through the grid. These systems may provide great heating and cooling efficiency to the inside of the dome. The structural grid of the island may integrate or circuit the water waste recycling management. The steep slopes of the hill also act as a natural ventilation system. In Dror’s vision, both the wind and the rain water are recycled and utilized for the operation of the community life.

© Dror

“The twentieth century will be chiefly remembered by future generations not as an era of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective.” – Aarnold J. Toynbee, English historian (1889-1975)

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Dror’s Radical Vision for a Net-Positive Island Community" 01 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Mar 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=278212>