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Location: Istanbul
Project type: Cultural
Employer: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Project year: 2023
Construction area: 49000 m²
Land area: 17000 m²
Status: National Competition 2nd Prize

Project team:
 Kemal Bal, Nil Bıçak, Erol Kalmaz, Büşra Yavuz, Beril Yavuz
Arzu Güler (Landscape Architect), Onur Topönder (Civil Engineer) Ahmet Boybada (Mechanical Engineer), Rıza İnce (Electrical Engineer) Başak Tekin (Cost Consultant)

2. Prize



The competition area is surrounded by two streets from the neighborhood: Baraj Yolu Alt street to the east, Deren street to the west. In Ibb City Guide, 2006/Orthophoto, two streets meet in the southeast. After the metro construction intervention, Deren Street is cut off and the competition area turns into a plateau isolated from its surroundings with a steep slope. Unfortunately, this green plateau with many trees on it is separated from the sidewalk on the other street front by an unwalkable slope.

In the north of the area, İgdaş Supply Directorate is established with hard lines on the topography. Between the twelve-storey Kiptaş blocks and İgdaş, an inaccessible area with plenty of trees, owned by İbb, lives on its own. Although the sloping topography belonging to the Treasury between the high school and the parcel in the northwest has undergone many interventions, it still maintains its value with its curved stairs, open amphitheater and rows of trees.

The other two sides of the area breathe a completely different atmosphere from the aforementioned neighborhood scale and topographic character. The fast and big part of Istanbul squeezes one of its serene and small parts.



Bringing the 45 thousand m² program scale to human scale was the knot the project tried to solve. We created an alternative street/passage to enable large-scale functions (two halls) that hundreds of people will use on a certain schedule at the same time, and small-scale functions such as blackbox, library, workshops, restaurant and cafe, which will be used constantly and flexibly in daily life, operating relatively independently of each other. We started this street/passage from the intersection point of a route that can connect Deren street, which comes from +30.50 elevation, and Baraj Yolu Alt street, which holds +20.00 elevation at the northern point of the parcel, and opened it to the subway exit on the E-5 front. We tried to bring a large-scale building complex to street scale. We imagined a neighborhood bazaar by placing the shops of the businesses within the IMM (Halk Ekmek, Istanbul Florist, Cooperative Market, Beltur bife and ice cream shop) on one side at the elevation where the Baraj Yolu Lower Street enters the alternative street/passage, and a restaurant-café on the opposite side. We opened the library and common working areas on one side of the alternative street/passage at +16.50 level, and the entrances and foyers of large and small halls on the opposite side.


We thought of the untouched topography, one owned by IBB and the other by the Treasury, as a permanent landscape stain towards +26.50 elevation. We kept the construction below this elevation. We imagined that the central courtyard would become a large breathing area for the surrounding neighborhoods, with the inclusion of the areas under different ownerships. We predicted that healthy trees that needed to be moved for construction would also join the existing landscape. We included two neighboring areas in the site plan with their current values (pathways, trees, stairs and lecture hall). We made the central courtyard more defined and protected by surrounding it with a building towards E-5. We proposed topographic mounds to give different perspectives on the large courtyard pavement, to prevent intense E-5 noise, to create niches that will provide relative privacy, and to increase the survival opportunities of different plant and animal species. We wanted the blackbox to open to the courtyard in order to keep life in the courtyard alive and to move the events outdoors. In the courtyard surrounded by the blackbox mass on one side and the workshop and restaurant masses on the other, and semi-open transition areas along the line of the building, there are children's playgrounds, plant islands, shallow pools, seating units, etc. By designing it, we looked for opportunities that different users would visit and encounter on different days and hours. We enabled barrier-free and completely public access to the landscape level from the car park elevations as well as from the subway exit and alternative street/passage elevations of +16.50/+17.00. In the cantilever mass, which is the most prominent part of the building image, we placed exhibition volumes that are accessed through the mentioned public cores and can also be opened to the landscape level.



We solved the large and small halls in a single high volume with foyers that have the same entrance but at different levels. We increased the opportunity to receive natural air and daylight by opening the foyer of the large hall to a lower garden. We continued the foyer of the small hall along the alternative street/passage. We solved the service entrance (with backstage volumes), artist entrance, truck and car park entrances on the west side, which is surrounded by road networks where there is no neighborhood texture in the plan scheme. We arranged the carriageway of Deren Street as a one-way west direction to provide parking and truck exits.



Even though cities are growing continuously, our steps are still one meter.

Arcade and courtyard: What timeless things!

And everyone as far as the pavement!

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