Tokyo to Host the 2020 Olympics!

© Zaha Hadid Architects

UPDATE: Minutes ago Tokyo was announced as the host of the 2020 Olympics. Zaha Hadid’s design to become the Olympic stadium.

Today the International Olympic Comitee (IOC) will choose the city that will host the 2020 Olympics, with Madrid, Tokyo and competing for the important event. The three just finished their presentations in Buenos Aires, Argentina, including presidents and royal members. As we await for the results, we present you the three stadiums designed to host the Olympics in each city.

More information and images:

Litterfall Social and Cultural Center Competition Entry / Ziya Imren Architects

© Vizarch.Cz / Petra Grísová, Josef Veselý, Vratislav Zíka

The main idea for the Litterfall Social and Cultural Center was to create a space and atmosphere where people come together to share their ideas, talk, sing, paint, dance and create a social and cultural life to illuminate their own daily life. Designed by Ziya Imren Architects, this small scale building typology is a very important to the culture of , since it offers a comfortable place, where people can feel themselves at home and contribute to their own artworks. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Varyap Merıdıan H Block / MTF Proje

Courtesy of

Architects: MTF Proje
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Architectural Project: Dome Mimarlık
Design Team: Derya Ekim Öztepe, Ozan Öztepe, Deniz Ekim Çubukçu, Betül Karanfil
Area: 12660.27 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of MTF Proje

Koç Contemporary Art Museum Winning Proposal / Grimshaw

Courtesy of Architects

Grimshaw just announced that they have been selected by the Vehbi Koç Foundation to design Koç Contemporary, a new contemporary art museum in . Due to open to the public in 2016, the new project has been conceived to fulfill the Foundation’s vision of showcasing the growing Koç collection to the broadest possible audience and to place these works in a national, regional and international context of contemporary artists. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Turkish Parliament Passes Bill to Protect Historic Skylines

© Harvey Barrison

In an effort to protect ’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. Continue reading to learn more.

Turkish Court Rules in Favor of Gezi Park Protests

Courtesy of Plataforma Urbana

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 ’s iconic and replace one of the populated city’s few public parks with a mall.

SO? Celebrates the Opening of ‘Sky Spotting Stop’ in Istanbul

© Muhsin Akgün; Courtesy of

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 () 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.

Taksim Square’s Temporary Structures, Rendered

Courtesy of occupygeziarchitecture.tumblr.com

Architecture emerges with every “occupy” movement or protest. From whatever meager resources at hand, occupiers create structures to fulfill very specific purposes – from makeshift tents for sleeping, to instant podiums for speaking, or perhaps even a swing to kill the time. Unfortunately, these architectures are, by their very nature, fleeting: often disappearing instantly the moment the occupation ends.

However, thanks to a non-profit in , the temporary structures that dotted a few weeks ago have been preserved for posterity. Herkes İçin Mimarlık, or ”Architecture for All,” is devoted to offering architectural solutions to social problems facing Turkey today and promoting a participatory design process in architecture. They’ve created a tumblr called #occupygezi architecture where you can see all the temporary structures of Taksim Square in both photographs and detailed drawings.

When Urban Planning Gets Political: The History of Taksim Square

Courtesy of Plataforma Urbana

Over the last two weeks, the world has witnessed history unfold in a small park in the heart of , .  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.

More after the break…

Turkey: Fighting for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Space

Courtesy of Plataforma Urbana

The impending destruction of the last public park in Istanbul was the straw that broke the camel’s back last Tuesday. When a peaceful demonstration to save Taksim Gezi Park was met with violent police retaliation, the situation quickly escalated into a nationwide protest against the increasingly authoritarian Turkish government. At this moment all across the country, thousands are standing up not only for Gezi Park but for the right to shape the place that they call home.

More information on the situation in after the break.  

Premier Campus Office in Kagithane Winning Proposal / JDS Architects

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Focusing on the users’ working and living qualities, the winning proposal for the Premier Campus Office in Kagithane addresses its presence in 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.

YAP IM-Debris Competition Entry / Yalin Architectural Design

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Chosen as one of the five finalists in MOMA’s Young Architectural Program (YAP), Yalin Architectural Design’s proposal ‘IM-Debris’ focuses on how 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.

New Istanbul International Financial Center Master Plan / HOK

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Integral to ’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.

‘Tearing the Ground’ YAP Istanbul Modern Proposal / ONZ Architects

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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 . More images and architects’ description after the break.

‘Seapeaker’ YAP Istanbul Modern Proposal / Evren Başbuğ, İnanç Eray, Meriç Kara, Engin Ayaz /

Courtesy of Evren Başbuğ, İnanç Eray, Meriç Kara, Engin Ayaz

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 Başbuğİnanç 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.

‘Haze’ Pavilion Proposal / Salon2

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Designed by Salon2, their ‘Haze’ Pavilion proposal aims to transform 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.

SO? Wins YAP Istanbul Modern 2013

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SO? Architecture and IdeasSky Spotting Stop has been announced as winner of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP) Istanbul Modern in Turkey. Similar to its counterparts - CODA’s skateboard scrap Party Wall in New York and bam!’s buoyant installation He at MAXXI – the shady escape will be constructed in late June in the Istanbul Modern’s courtyard, offering refuge from the busy streets of Istanbul while overlooking the mouth of the Bosphorus.

More on ‘Sky Spotting Stop’ after the break…

AA Istanbul Visiting School 2013: Vertical Interventions

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In its third year, the AA Istanbul Visiting School, Vertical Interventions, in collaboration with 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.