In an effort to protect Turkey’s historic skylines from uncontrolled urbanization, the Turkish Parliament has passed an amendment that would grant zoning authority to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization as well as set up an aesthetic architectural commission.
The efforts of thousands who occupied Gezi Park, and those who joined them in solidarity via social media from around the world, have paid off. According to Reuters, a Turkish court has ruled against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan-backed development in which proposed to redesign Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square and replace one of the populated city’s few public parks with a mall.
Though temporarily postponed due to the Gezi Park protests, SO? Architecture and Ideas has celebrated the opening of their winning entry - Sky Spotting Stop- for the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP) at Istanbul Modern in Turkey. Offering refuge from the historic city’s busy streets, the fragmented canopy of reflective circular discs invites visitors to “sit, rest, gather, play, or skyspot” while overlooking the mouth of the Bosphorus.
Over the last two weeks, the world has witnessed history unfold in a small park in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square. What started out as a peaceful protest to save Gezi Park and its trees from destruction has turned into a country-wide (and, to some degree, worldwide) movement that rejects the ever-increasing autocratic tendencies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The urban policies and projects that PM Erdogan and his government have been loutishly implementing in Istanbul offer only a few examples of the way this government has manifested its undemocratic attitudes. In that regard, it would be misleading to consider the protest over Taksim and Gezi Park as an isolated incident. Instead, development over Istanbul’s quintessential square constitutes the last straw in a series of neo-liberal policies, themselves the result of a century of history, that have shaped Istanbul over the course of the last decade.
Focusing on the users' working and living qualities, the winning proposal for the Premier Campus Office in Kagithane addresses its presence in Istanbul as a new form of contextual and urban approach. Designed by JDS Architects, the building is formed by their desire to make it interact with its environment and acts as a catalyst of business life for a new Istanbul that promotes contemporary culture, architecture and lifestyle. More images and architects’ description after the break.
With the main objective of creating a model for the architectural design of daily child care facilities in Turkey, the 'Child-Play-Learning-Space-Environment' concept by ddrlpconsists of creative components for a building while being formed by multiple relations. Ranging from 75 to 150 children between ages of 0 and 6, the main form generators of their design included social interaction spaces: individually, by group, for crowded uses, the relationship with sun, sky and seasonal-natural cycle, and the sensual interaction with light, colour, texture, material, shape and structural components. More images and architects' description after the break.
Chosen as one of the five finalists in MOMA’s Young Architectural Program (YAP), Yalin Architectural Design’s proposal ‘IM-Debris’ focuses on how Istanbul and all the other cities in the world have to come up with local solutions to their own problems in global standards. The main purpose of this design is to be within the rubble which we are usually used to observe from a distance, to form a place with every possible material that is left from a construction and to have the visitors re-discover where it came from, in a place designed by it in the first place. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Integral to Turkey's plan to make its economy one of the world's 10 largest by 2023, the HOK-designed master plan for the Istanbul International Financial Center (IIFC) is now in construction. Built on a 170-acre site on the city's Asian side, the Turkish government's goal for the landmark IIFC project is to establish Istanbul as a global center for finance. The IIFC will house the head offices of the country’s financial market governing bodies, state-owned and private banks, and related businesses. It will include approximately 45 million square feet of office, residential, retail, conference, hotel and park space. More images and architects' description after the break.
ONZ Architects' ‘Tearing the Ground’ proposal was recently awarded as one of the five finalists in the Istanbul Modern YAP 2013. Their design consists of a contemporary interpretation of a flying carpet constructed with reused plastic units, made of marine litter. The project team tears the ground and lifts up this carpet and puts it in the air with everything it conceals. Thus, the plastic waste produced by the city becomes the main material for the installation. More images and architects’ description after the break.
'Seapeaker', was recently named as one of the five finalists for Istanbul Modern "Young Architects Program" 2013 cycle. Designed by the collaborative team of Evren Başbuğ, İnanç Eray, Meriç Kara, and Engin Ayaz, the main intent of the project is to be a hearing aid for İstanbul. It highlights the city's muted qualities in an unexpected way. Designed using rigorous acoustical principles and the generative capacities of the site, seapeaker amplifies sounds of the sea underneath and punctures a new connection in-between. More images and architects' description after the break.
Designed by Salon2, their ‘Haze’ Pavilion proposal aims to transform Istanbul Modern into a garden of stages while preparing an unexpected architectural condition for the distant relationship of İstanbul and the sea. Through an experiential design, the pavilion shifts the perception of a specific shore condition of the Tophane Pier and creates its own cool microclimate in the warmest days of the year it to accommodates various events. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In its third year, the AA Istanbul Visiting School, Vertical Interventions, in collaboration with Istanbul Technical University, will continue to rediscover verticality through novel generative design techniques and large-scale physical prototypes. Abstracted as a fusion of various sub-systems, each subsystem of the tower will be investigated in relation to their various performance criteria. The correlations between the separate sets of performance criteria and evaluation methods will be analyzed, leading to the generation of unified design alternatives for a vertical system typology. In addition to the custom-made digital design and evaluation tools supporting the core methodology, Vertical Interventions will also highlight the fabrication and assembly of a large scale working prototype integrating the performative characteristics of each system in examination.
As in 2012, the design agendas of AA Athens and AA Istanbul Visiting Schools will directly create feedback on one another, allowing participation in either one or both Programmes.
In an effort to maximize Istanbul’s potential of becoming a bustling regional hub, Transport Minister Binali Yildirim has released a request for proposals to construct and operate what could potentially be one of the world's largest airports. With the Ataturk airport - Turkey’s largest airport which handled nearly 45 million passengers last year - steadily reaching capacity and limited by land restrictions, the new $9 billion dollar, six-runway airport promises to expand the country’s aviation capacity with the potential of handling 150 million yearly passengers.
“The new airport project will be bigger than any other in Turkey and will be part of our plan to build a new city on the Black Sea coast,” Yildirim said, according to Bloomberg.
The Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry Building proposal by Ziya Imren and Onat Öktem has placed itself in an important position for the development of city of Mersin and its surroundings. Located at the intersection of the two main axes of the city, the proposal will play a major role in this new developing urban area of the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.