GUZER / / OZGENEL / MENNAN / KIZILCAN / DEREBAŞI

FROM TERRAIN VAGUE TO CITY HUB: YEDIKULE GAS FACTORY COMPLEX

Under the topic of “From Terrain Vague to City Hub”, the studio discusses issues related with abandoned spots in the city, where buildings, along with the institutions and memories they previously hosted have been left unused. Such decaying urban areas have several effects on their surroundings in particular and the city in general, a negative impact known under the term of ‘blight’. The term ‘urban blight’ denotes a deteriorated condition that usually appears at the outskirts of the city or at disused spots of shrinking city centers. The concept of ‘terrain vague’, first conceptualized by Ignasi Sola-Morales in his 1995 essay1, refers to such abandoned urban patches, usually former industrial sites, that appear in and challenge the urban landscape and imagery of the 20th century city.

Yedikule Gas Factory Complex in Istanbul, standing next to the Yedikule Dungeons presents itself as the site of a design research that is to be developed along the theme of the programmatic activation of a blighted urban spot in the city center. The design task consists of developing proposals for the re-use of the urban lot for community use and fostering public participation to the formation of public space in the programmatic context of a 'city hub. The City Hub to be developed there acts as a non-governmental think-tank, a place where professionals and citizens convene to express themselves, housing as well cultural and commercial clusters animating both the program, user profile, and the neighborhood.

1 Ignasi Sola-Morales, “Terrain Vague”, in Anyplace, ed. Cynthia Davidson, 118-123. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1995.

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