_Urban development and social organization of Ispartakule, Urban design theory and principles / 2012
The area for the new settlement is placed in Ispartakule, in the west of Istanbul, about 24km away from the city center. It is a settlement for a population of ~4000 and designed for immigrants coming to Istanbul, especially from deprived areas in Anatolia. As a result the design responds to the needs and habits of newcomers. These needs and habits are related to the urban development of their hometowns that are spontaneously generated high dense urban fabric. The proposal stands against common city developments which create mono structures that isolate their inhabitants.
In the beginning of the process the question of “where do the people come from, what they are used to and how do they want to live” was a crucial parameter. To answer this question we have to look at what the people value, their neighborhoods, their environment as well as the way they shape it. Instead of forcing them into monotone structures the new settlement is supposed to offer them a part of what they had to leave behind, creating a fraction of their village neighborhood. Thus the concept meets their needs by transporting and transforming the rural values into a modern urban settlement which aims to rise acceptance of built environment by it inhabitants.
Looking at the character of Anatolian villages, we notice that high density is achieved with organic city structure. Low rise buildings instead of towers stage the preferred habitation. Instead of complex designs of parks and recreational areas streets and squares are being used intensively and spontaneously. The car traffic is organized according to that. Informality and spontaneity are dominating factors regarding urban space. Other significant factors are plurality of functions that are generated in urban units and proximity of bakkals (small shop that uses basic principle of demand and supply, by doing so it offers only commodities that people actually use. Beside this bakkal has great influence on social life in the area). We tried to implement principles of “New Urbanism” into methods of urban development that we observed in Anatolian villages. We came up with design that takes historic urban model and revise it with modern aspects to create a new residential development.
The settlement is based on a grid-structure. In order to erect an organic city structure, buildings and streets fit the topography. Instead of perpendicular streets, roads lead along the valleys contour lines and avoid orthogonal ascent against the hill. This fits both, the comfort of cars as well as pedestrians. At the same time strong winds are absorbed offering no long channels to blow through. From main streets to small neighborhood alleys, the communication routes are never straight meander through the settlement offering countless areas for social interaction and captivating views of the surroundings.
According to the road structure buildings also fit the topography instead of lining straight up. Their long sides are adjusted alongside the steep slopes in order to catch as much sunlight as possible.
The typology is based on a simple cube system which is multiplied in several ways. It convinces with flexibility so that it can easily be adapted to the size of the household (see table). The floor plans are simple, following a “maxima strategy” where individualization of living is encouraged through more space, options and the reduction of technical equipment to a minimum. Apartments can be either on one floor or reaching through several stories. Most houses have two or oftentimes three levels. The height of the buildings provides shade in the summer. The consistent urban scheme creates the sense of a compact neighborhood settlement. Each apartment is enhanced with a unique yard for individual use thus space for social interaction is partly transferred out of the house. The yards make every house inimitable and compensate for the lack of private gardens. They are places where a family can eat, play, relax or grow vegetables.
With regard to mobility the city structures do not exclude cars but limit their cruising range in order to establish attractive public space in the neighborhood. One quarter can be seen as an oblong offering parking space on both short ends. The distances to the house do not excess a 50m radius. In the center of each neighborhood there is a square representing a center for social interaction. Small shops or tea gardens are located here.
The main recreational area, a big park alongside side river stretches all the way through the settlement staging easy access for every neighborhood. Thus a mixed use of housing, recreational area and shopping supply promotes short distances for inhabitants, mitigating dependency on cars.
Public transport connecting the settlement with the next bigger city center or a metro-bus station is provided through two bus lines with stations close to neighborhoods.
Project done in group with Janna Wieland and Friedrich Lammert.
_Analysis of Tulip Hotel’s lobby design, Interior Spatial Organization and Design / 2012
As we enter the TulipCity Hotel we encounter overdesigned lobby. Plan is rectangular divided in four part according functions. LED lightning in different fluorescent colors, suppose to serve as guide to these parts, but effect is opposite, we are given a choice without any hierarchy imposed. Main lighting source are spot lights which is insufficient in alighting lobby, so it is dark even in the noon. Height is unconventionally low for Hotel lobby, but with glass panels attached to ceiling space gains on height. As for materials and furniture, I am escaping from label it as eclectic; I would prefer to call it concept of contrast. Building is surrounded with 19th century buildings hosting “a la Bristol” hotels, so with the desire to stand out, old – new mixture is thought as a right way. Flooring is also done in contrast manner, lower level is concrete with implanted Iznik ceramic tiles, suppose to give rough and cold feeling, and upper floor is wood which creates warm atmosphere. Regarding walls, one side of of lobby is covered with aluminum sheets that are folded together, which in combination with curtains that absorb LED lighting creates nice contrast. Other side is covered with canvas frames with “antique” value accompanied with Louis XV furniture such as canopy armchair. As they stand opposite to each other these two walls are different concepts and it is a point where concept of contrast is failing, it becomes kitsch. Beside these there is few furniture parts which are surplus, like badly done copies of “Lightbodies” lamps (designer: Kilu) or again badly redesigned MacKenzie sofa coated with glossy artificial leather.
All in all TulipCity Hotel manages to stand out in hotel crowded neighborhood with its glossy and hip design, but it fails in taking main concept to the end and instead contrast we have chaos of kitsch, antique, natural, artificial, fluorescent, comfort and much more.
When I was preparing my submission for EAAB I had museum of the city (Istanbul) on my mind. At that moment I was thinking about a space that will host this specific building and a building design that will be a part of exhibition. But during my research my focus changed from this specific museum design question to more general one: “What is the City?”, “What makes one City a great urban experience?”, “What is a museum of the contemporary City?”… This is critical point where I found myself in middle of open field, trying to count grass leafs, so I had to make a reduction, to focus on dynamics behind city that are responsible for our urban experience. I selected three paradigmatic cities that seem appropriate for this kind of research and at the same time Istanbul likely, so I travelled to New York City, Los Angeles and Beijing in order to “feel” these metropolises and gather information necessary to write this paper.
For .pdf version of the book please contact me on mail.
A perfect, four metre square opaque cube hangs towards the center of the exhibition space. Without any pedestal or any easily visible attachment to floor, wall or ceiling, it appears to float about 25cm above the gallery floor. A suspended ramp leads to the only opening at one corner of the cube, through which the observer barely perceives flickering lights and faint sounds, drawing them inside. Upon entering, their experience of the piece, and the gallery, is transformed. Outsized, distorted human figures – in fact the transformed movements and gestures of the gallery patrons who approach and examine the exterior of the cube – circle the observer, threatening, challenging and enveloping them in a chaotic blur of movement and sound. What appeared perfect – invariant, transcendent, timeless, remote, private – from the outside, upon breaching the physical threshold of the object and breaking the taboo of distance that separates observer from art-object, becomes chaotic, transient, proximate, public and audible: the object is only perfect until one touches it.
‘Shattering the frame,’ the proposed installation, is an attempt to explore notions of perfection / imperfection in the experience of art by challenging traditional modes of artist / art-object / observer relations. Even today, these relations are often dominated by relatively inflexible cultural conditions, expectations and taboos, which determine (among other things) when and how to move through the exhibition space, how to interact (or not) with the object and the other patrons, and above all the physical relations of observers to objects and to each other. Under such conditions the ‘perfect’ art-object is framed as timeless yet potentially fragile, encouraging an attitude of distant reverence.
A city of perpetual human motion, noise and chaos, Istanbul is the antithesis of such an attitude. It cannot be viewed from a comfortable distance or with remote reverence; inhabitants and visitors experience an inescapable physical connection with their immediate environment, literally buffeted by the many frustrating yet life- giving imperfections of the city. Two central nodes of this physical interrelation are kinetics and sound. As both in their own ways are ever changing, difficult to predict and impossible to apprehend, movement and sound run counter to notions of perfection in traditional Western arts cultures and tend to be de-emphasized.
Reconnecting viewer with viewer through the breached surface of the art-object, via the ‘imperfect’ nodes of sound and motion, ‘Shattering the frame’ reminds the observer that art, like the city, can also be kinetic, transient, chaotic, and sometimes even loud; and that in the milieu of the gallery, just as in the city, s/he is never merely a viewer, but also an auditor, and above all an actor.
The technical execution of the project is possible with readily available motion capture and PC based audio-visual processing hardware / software. The interior light condition of the cube enables a cost-effective yet dramatic video display / audio solution.
MANR is an Istanbul-based design collective comprised of Turkish and foreign resident architects and digital artists.
Site is located in Ayvansaray neighborhood just across Old Galata Bridge, on the Golden Horn shore. If we take a look to the neighborhood we will see deficit of cultural activities even though majority is under 25 and eager for cultural space where they could spend their free time. Site is surrounded by city walls (12th century), two churches (Hagia Dimitris and Balino) and has a view on Golden Horn. On the street that passes next our site the bazaar is being held on Tuesday and Friday. It is important to remember that bazaar doesn’t have only economic significance but also social and cultural. As for the urban pattern, it is characterized by narrow streets, organic layout and visual heterogeneity.
Inspiration for project is taken context the site is located in; one is a textile bazaar covers, with their form derived from sun position (with deconstructive appeal) and the second one is narrow streets which generate social life and create shade. Connection between street and sea is not to be broken with building, so the east and west façades are glazed in order to maintain view on the Golden Horn from the sea; north and south façades are from béton brut as a reference to industrial past of the site. Mixed function project is planned to satisfy needs of people living in Balat, so beside souvenir ateliers and art gallery, proposal includes retail space for selling hand-made local goods, educational space for youth, office space for local NGOs, amphi-stairs for open-air cinema, bazaar with canopy garden and restaurant with a view over Golden Horn. As the project is a complex of (quasi) autonomous objects, circulation is thought as a main part of project, with a role of connecting all different functions and again giving a choice to explore unexpected spaces to visitor. With this aim on mind elevated streets are included in project and roofs were given a function of squares, so it could be stated that negative – positive situation on street level is inverted when elevated.