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Istanbul Cast Building

Part 1 Project 2011
Jonas Zukauskas
London Metropolitan University, UK
The project reflects on Istanbul Urban Transformation process focusing on the urban block bordering UNESCO heritage site - Suleymanyie area in historical peninsula. The inner city area framed by Suleymanye mosque elevated fifty meters above sea level in south descends northwards to Ataturk Bridge. Working class Kurdish community inhabits fragile and fast fading condition of this informal neighbourhood. Dilapidated houses and high density are characteristic attributes of impoverished immigrant areas of Istanbul. Urban Transformation Project administered by Istanbul Municipality is currently attempting to regenerate the area by voiding existing spatial practices through demolishing urban fabric, same time providing empty plots for future investment and redevelopment. The process is exerting underclass inhabitants to the periphery of the metropolis.

The “Cast Building” proposal focuses on urban block in the heart of the area. Framed by four streets site is a demolished void of 1200 square meters. Proposed arrangement fills this empty volume with programmatic layers that characterize current spatial practices within the neighbourhood. Spatial layout aims to accommodate the transient character of the neighbourhood traditionally serving as stepping stone for immigrants from rural areas of Turkey, providing specific housing in vital central location and proximity to work places, architecturally articulating the precarious character of the existing community, enabling preservation of culture, established social ties, accommodating spatially the private and public character of everyday praxis.

Architectural proposal aims to accommodate and preserve what is already at work, same time interpreting the prevailing technological practice of in situ cast concrete structural frame informing it with precedents from architectural history and most recent innovations proposing a sustainable resolution.

Building consists from two definite elements – the open plan in situ cast concrete frame that responds to local climatic conditions and the ever-reconfigured inhabitation that in current proposal is informed with research of current and vernacular spatial practices from the surrounding area and all around Istanbul.

Jonas Zukauskas


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