Besiktas Fishmarket / GAD


Architects: Gokhan Avcioglu & GAD
Location: Istanbul,
Project Team: Ozan Ertug, Serkan Cedetas
Collaborators: Besiktas Municipality
Project Area: 320 sqm
Budget: $500,000
Project Year: 2007-2008
Construction Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: GAD

site plan

Located in one of Istanbul’s most populated and diverse neighborhoods, Besiktas is an eclectic area with a village-like atmosphere that is in the process of urban renewal. The Besiktas Fish Market is located on a triangular site. It is an iconic venue where many locals and visitors buy fresh fish daily. The construction of the old fish market was in very poor shape and needed to be replaced.


The design solution was to maintain its iconic neighborhood presence, while also reaffirming its welcoming feeling. GAD designed a triangular shaped concrete shell covering the entire site with large openings at street level. The concrete shell provides a column-free interior space, optimizing the project’s programmatic needs. The new design injects a contemporary and pragmatic solution, at once preserving the fish market’s history.

Cite: "Besiktas Fishmarket / GAD" 05 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • noel

    I really dig the simplicity of this but what about theft? Where do you pay? what about vandalism during the night?

    • Ali Manço

      Vandalism/graffiti is not a big problem in Istanbul (as long as it is not a a naked human sculpture). I hope the fierce “Carsi group” (the die-hard fan group of the district’s football team who roam the area) will embrace and preserve it.
      Very good project indeed….

    • Hasan

      Dear noel, I live in a part of Besiktas. Believe me theft and vandalism is not a big problem in Istanbul, also it’s a big city. I saw a lot of cities worldwide, Istanbul is the one where I feel very safe.

  • JTG

    Wonderful! (The x-bracing cables are unfortunate…)

  • Ricky

    its a great design, responds well to its site boundaries, but how do you close this up? what about theft, vandalism, or roof for home-less people, but as stated in the comment before, it seems like a problem not taken in consideration, maybe cause it does not have to be taken in consideration.

  • { kat }

    i really hope that somewhere in the world designers (and everyone else) do not have to worry about vandalism and theft :) for this i think everyone’s product goes home with them during the night…

  • DDL

    Yeah Different cultures in different cities

  • Rebecca

    nice column free space. very sculptural. in the aerial photo, i noticed that the paving pattern on the sidewalk adjacent to this project looks like scallops on a sea shell or more like fish scales. very appropriate for a fish market! does anyone else see that?

  • ruornil

    In Istanbul the pavement pattern is a traditional pattern used almost everywhere when using parquet stone unless it is used as a grid pattern.

  • zorbathegreek

    old one was far more better…

  • Octavio

    I think this design offers a lot of versatility of use, could be run on it since a market to a space of artistics or sports events, although structurally looks very heavy but itself adapts to its urban fabric. what do you think altinay? that you should walk on it very often.
    Octavio Chavez.

  • Pingback: Besiktas Fishmarket / Istanbul / Turkey by GAD « RADDblog

  • Architist

    In Islam world if you steal you should already know what will be the concequences. So, I think it is a great project, at least architecture is open up to the people.

  • mima

    like in many other countries and many other markets, that’s an open market (with protecting roof). I think closing off was never an issue, so theft was never an issue, too.
    Vandalism might be, because of the built-in counters, but i hope it’s gonna be fine…

    nice solid roof with column-free space and great layout of the counters!

    • lunafuga

      In a country like Turkey, this is a quite progressive project, especially within those built through public funding. In my opinion,for only that reason the effort should be appreciated.

      The only setback I could observe was that there’s a little bit of a “blending” problem. The columnless open space under the canopy is quite positive, although the old market was a little more “mystic” and “protected”, at least
      physiologically. A believe a little bit of vandalism and some ad-ons by those selling stuff inside might even help the building adjust to its surroundings.

  • fari

    very interesting project. an escalation in terms of traditional market.

  • norm

    it’s good but seriously guys, if you gonna design a shell, better figure it out without the cable bracing, it’s so silly.

    • mima

      I don’t know what those tables are for, but they are definitely not structural bracing.

      • mima

        i mean cables, not tables…

    • Tuf-Pak

      I get the feeling the steel cables were an aesthetic choice, and not any form of active bracing. My intuition tells me they’re too slender, and if you look and where they are and what they tie together, the only thing I can imagine them being used for is to prevent the roof from lifting off the ground, which doesn’t seem too likely.

      They’re definitely not working to keep the structure from spreading.

  • synchro

    I can not realize that, how architects can still design useless rooftops in a city like istanbul, where 13 million people lives. There is not enough space left, on the ground in city centers. For new functions, for social life, for recreation etc, rooftops have to be used. I like the design, but that great rooftop has to be used for public space, dear GAD architects.

  • John H

    I don’t think those cables are meant to brace the structure. My guess is they could support some tent-like sidewalls when it’s cold, snowy or rainy.

  • dUFFY

    Its kinda a Gehry sculpture with a Enric Merrailes urban sensibility. I could dig it. Maybe.

    • R S O U L

      enric MIRALLES

  • Chinto

    Fish Market by day, Skaters paradise by night. All that stainless steel furniture is just waiting to be grinded……

  • shetu

    Its a very interesting project.I dont think it looks like Gehrys sculpture.