Transforming Cities Urban Interventions in Public Space


 At Home  in the Cities

For the first time in history, the majority of the population is living in cities and regards the city as their home and as the place where they want to fulfill their life goals. Against this backdrop, the cities' orientation is changing. City centers have regained their attractiveness an dare now true crowd-pullers-for people who want to live there (and can afford it),for service providers,for consumption, entertainment,and tourism but also for new economic and production sectors that are looking to take advantage of urban networks. However, this promising development has its downsides, too, which have become visible in many metropolises: the city centers growing economic importance is accompanied by increased marginalization and social discrepancies between the city centers and the peripheries.

Positioning Urban Development

The city as such can only overcome this contradiction if a new way of thinking takes over. Th e city ha s to be come an ecological and democratic conception a broad sense. It has to offer a place for everyone and everything: for living and working, for leisure, culture, and consumption, for young and old, for the long-time residents as well as for the newly arrived. It has to safeguard a healthy environment and working mobility for both humans and goods,and it has to reconcile resource efficiency with economic success in order to secure the inhabitants incomes as well as to succeed in competition with other cities. Most of all, the city has to achieve and do all of this in co-operation with its residents; it should make the m a n active part of the process by using their knowledge and by simultaneously sharing its own knowledge and education with them. Making the same space for different demands requires an urban mix and the organisation of urban cohesion throughout the entire city.

Shaping a Mixed City

One important issue is the challenge of finding new forms of urban development and new aesthetic dimensions for a functional mix.



Project Beşiktaş Fish Market Location Beşiktaş. Istanbul-Turkey/ Function: Market hall Architects GAD&Gokhan Avcioglu Istanbul-Turkey Client Beşiktaş Municipality Year of completion 2009 Award ULAB 2010, Category "Built", nominated

Beşiktaş is one of the most densely populated and diverse districts of the city of Istanbul.

In the course of the urban renewal, the old and dilapidated building of the fish market where many locals and tourists buy fresh fish every day had to be replaced by a new building. The architectural practice GAD led by Gokhan Avcioglu used a triangle-shaped ground plan to match the shape of the existing square in the center of the business district. On it, they constructed a steel and concrete "shell"that spans the entire market area and touches the ground in only three places. In order to create an inviting atmosphere and conserve the iconic aura of the surrounding urban space, the sides we re left open. They offer a view of the market activities as well as the surrounding buildings.This way, there is a constant dialogue between the new market hall's modern architecture and the picturesque building fronts. The support-free interior is divided into six differently sized display areas that are connected by a circular gallery. Further plans of the architects and committed business people include the transformation of the surrounding buildings facades into a platform for artistic events, such as the Istanbul Biennial or local events. This way, the limits between public and private space shall be overcome.

1 The market hall's proportions are in line with the scale of the surroundings.2 The sides were left open;offering a view of the surrounding buildings.3,4 A steel and concrete "shell" spans the triangle-shaped marketplace.