Istanbul’s unique geography where the sea and the land meet at the same level enables a vibrant public life at the waterfronts of the city. It also provides series of transitional spaces where inhabitants criss-cross the Bosphorous as part of their daily routines in the city. This project is inspired by this everyday urban mobility, transitional spaces, and urban travel. It is interested in the ways in which “mobility makes place” (Jensen, 2009) and exploring the possibilities and potentials of bringing people together, side by side in places they have not been before. The Venice project provides Steps in Arsenale. This spatial intervention enables a break, a stopover in the circulation of the Biennale and invites the visitors to be side by side on the water’s edge offering various alternatives: vista and relaxation area on top, shaded area underneath. Enabling possibilities for co-existence at the water’s edges, Side by Side is intended to be
inspirational for cities alike.
Exploring the water’s edges.
Istanbul – a city split by water, namely the Bosphorous. A unique geography where the sea and the land meet at the same level enabling a vibrant public life at the waterfronts of the city. This geography also provides series of transitional spaces where inhabitants criss-cross the Bosphorous as part of their daily routines in the city. It is inspiring to observe this everyday urban mobility, transitional spaces, and urban travel. It is also challenging to explore the possibilities and potentials of bringing people together, side by side, in places they did not co-exist before. Is it possible to bring various groups of people together in novel forms and enable new sets of unpredictable encounters – a new spatial contract at the water’s edges?
Working and Thinking Through Collaboration.
Rethinking the role of the architect as a convener of different disciplines, bringing together different perspectives, voices, and ideas, side by side. Each discipline anchored in its own assumptions, strengths, weaknesses, and blind-spots. Starting from scratch, starting over and over again, asking the basic questions. The challenge of translating ideas into specific designs, spatial interventions. Exploring the possibilities of creating new meeting points, novel vistas, urban stops, different forms of socialization/coming together at the water’s edges. Istanbul and Venice-thinking simultaneously about these two cities: historical continuities, geographical similarities, different contexts, contextual re-interpretations. Thinking through and beyond these two cities – is it possible to inspire cities alike?
From sketch to reality, the motivation was to have a structure on our hands that would be demountable and relocatable. We didn’t know that it would end-up being wooden and concrete, however we knew that we wanted to build a structure which is warm, comfortable to touch and sit on and communicates well with the marine culture and existing context.
Engineering was a big part of the design process and oriented us from the beginning. While working on the console’s structural calculations, we decided to have a heavy concrete base and a lighter wooden top with steps for people to sit “Side by Side”.