Ziya Imren Architects has released its plans for Re-Naturing the Kizilirmak in Turkey, a new eight-kilometer-long urban design project around the Kizilirmak River. As the longest inland river in Turkey, the Kizilirmak, also known as the Red River, “has been regarded as a hard edge to the city due to access and safety concerns.” After recent municipal advancements, many areas around the river have been opened to a design competition with the goal of integrating the riverfront into the existing city fabric.
In an effort to stray from the typical dichotomy of nature and city, the project focuses on the integration of nature in three parts, borrowed from the writings of John Dixon Hunt—unchanged nature, nature changed by human intervention, and designed landscape. Thus, by overlapping these typologies of nature, the connection between the river and the city can be better facilitated, creating “a permeable interface” between the two landscapes.
The project additionally features the integration of culture, specifically the culture of the City of Sivas, which borders the river, via a “path of culture,” which will connect the city center and riverfront. This path will include a high-speed rail system, intended to not only connect nature and the city but also to connect Sivas to other cities in order to facilitate growth.
Natural wetlands will be preserved within the project, and are expected to likewise preserve important landscape and biodiversity. “Our basic principle is minimizing the amount of intervention to nature and maximizing the socio-cultural contribution which will bring the presence of water into the daily living of the city dwellers,” said the architects. Thereby, water is intended to become a main focal point of the city, as well as a place to host new programmings, such as urban agriculture of varying scales and social centers for sport, entertainment, rest, and more.
LocationSivas, Sivas Merkez/Sivas, Turkey
Architects in ChargeTolga İltir Architects
Design TeamZiya İmren, Tolga İltir, Koray Velibeyoğlu, Erhan Vecdi Küçükerbaş, Tamara Nazari, Cengiz Çağatay Akbaş, Çağrım Koçer, Hamidreza Yazdani, Mehmet Şefik Yasavul, Merve Dadaş, Orhan Asan, Özgü Özcan, R. Sena Kocakaya, T. Çelinay Şahin
Urban PlannersKoray Velibeyoğlu, Hamidreza Yazdani
Landscape DesignerErhan Vecdi Küçükerbaş
PhotographsCourtesy of Ziya Imren Architects
News via Ziya Imren Architects.