The Central Lawn
Detail section of one of the pavilions
Compared to other significant metropolises, Istanbul stands out as a city that lacks public green spaces. Paramount to public life is a well-connected system of parks, plazas and public spaces. The competition area includes a key node in Istanbul’s public realm network as observed by Henri Prost in 1942 when he completed his largest public park proposal, Park No 2, which connected Taksim Square with Maçka Valley. However, different planning decisions and large hotel developments have jeopardized the continuity of parks in the master scale of Istanbul. In this proposal, the valuable relationship between Maçka and Gezi Park is restored and considered as the starting point of a larger scale public green space development for the whole of Istanbul.
Honoring the rich historical context of the site, the proposal aims to celebrate the past while simultaneously looking towards a more sustainable and just future. These layers of history, full of possibility, become an intrinsic part of the design and celebrate the collective memory of the place. The natural landscape of Taksim Square, before the city expanded, is recovered to extend the green network within the urban area. A projection of the inner courtyard from the Artillery Barracks is incorporated through a light and open canopy structure. This performative and permeable structure serves as a central node for programs and activities within the park.