Honorable Mention Prize

 İzmir Karabağlar Municipality Public Open Space and City Square Urban Design Competition  | Client: Karabağlar Municipality | Site: İzmir | Year: 2017 | Status: Honorable Mention Prize

Project Team: Ali Sinan, Coşan Karadeniz, Hasan Okan Çetin, Makbule Biçer, Mert Akay, Merve Nur Doğan, Nuran Özkam, Okan Mutlu Akpınar, Olgu Çalışkan


The project area is located on development axis of the southern part of İzmir. Karabağlar district is addressed together with the strategic planning and design approach that responds to the need for public space in the developing housing zone with a proactive approach. The area can be described as an ‘urban space’ which is located in the central location of housing texture and on the ring road, there are the main factors determining the spatial programs for the future transformation.

The context is that the area will be allocated to an active use that can be addressed both by the local community and by the neighborhood. In this sense, the original character of the area provide an accessible urban publicity. In addition, the development and transformation process of the project area and its position in the broader urban context brings with it a strategic impact level in terms of the urban area as a whole and the local urban texture.


In this context, the field of design is aimed to be constructed as an urban living center which responds to active public need within housing texture and non-residential urban use, and open space. For this purpose, the area is reproduced with the spatial structure that will house the city’s all-inclusive programs, such as concerts, rallies, performances, live performances, exhibitions and festivals as far as house the local uses (marketplaces, kermes, sports and recreation etc.) enriching the daily life practice. Accordingly, the project area will be activated as an urban interface where the local and general public use will be interrupted and reproduced in a multi-layered manner.



The holistic design approach that guides the formation of land and space within the project’s spatial design framework, can be defined with four basic strategies:

Multilayer Urban Program:

Within the context definition and purpose set out above, the project area is shaped by a layered spatial structure that is responsive to the multifunctional mixed and flexible use program. The layered space frame is realized by forming three separate height levels, which contain different functional and activity patterns. According to this, in the +62, +59 and +56 levels, the sports and recreation floor/layer, art street floor/layer and the square floor/level are defined respectively.

These layers also include a 200-car parking lot as stated in the architectural program. The layer defined by the open-air sport area created by the expansion of the front garden of the gymnasium provides access from the north, while the eastern recreation floor is framing the area on the highest level. On the other hand, the art street layer located in a lower level includes the parking garage lot and opens to the amphitheater defining the lower square. At the same time, this level is positioned with service units (locker rooms, wc, shower, etc.) that support outdoor sports areas. The ‘green square’ located on the bottom level defines the open surface to be used for large open space which commercial places faced. The layered structure is proposed as a landscape morphology approach that provides spatial orientation while vertically arranging programs with different characteristics.

Transient Spatial Continuities:

The inner fiction of the area also has passivity to provide spatial integration and continuity as well as functional and programmatic decomposition that layered structure brings together. Accordingly, the design area is formed on the basis of an axis configuration that will facilitate horizontal transitions, while program areas located on different levels are associated with vertical axis ramps, ladders and elevator singular elements or amp typology. Vertical passages are mechanized with multiple steps to create active floor surfaces by creating navigational amphitheaters that define the floor level locally. The eave in the form of an extension of the sports center building located at the northern main entrance of the area functions as a pedestrian deck which relates the sports fields level to the art street vertically. Thus, the layered differentiation created by level difference in the vertical axis allows walking, gathering and navigational action patterns that a pedestrian can experience in an uninterrupted manner.

Alternative Square Typology: ‘PARK-SQUARE’

From a holistic planning perspective, it seems that the area has the potential to respond the need for a serious open green space for the part of the city it is in. For the best evaluation of this potential; instead of residential square typology based on hard ground, it is proposed to use a soft grounded ‘green square’ type, which can create free pedestrian circulation and large scale mass events such as concerts and rallies. In this respect, an urban center with an original character is created, which we can call the ‘park-square’, where the green spaces that control the different landscapes are dominant in the whole area. In this context, in addition to the recreational area defined by dense wood texture. The area is characterized by two basic green surfaces, defined as ‘open green’ and ‘green square’ by the common grass area suitable for urban use.

 Integration Interface, ‘Housing Street’:

One of the most important design and planning problems in terms of special project areas developed in dense dwellings is the availability of integration conditions with the close context of the created focus areas. At this point, the project predicts that it will interact with the ‘residential streets’ where the pedestrian and the vehicle circulation are designed together instead of being separated by the sharp boundary relations with the immediate surroundings of the design area.

In this frame, the parking space is bounded by an accessible transition surface between neighboring residential areas and a walled backbone extending to the south along the eastern edge.










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