ISTANBUL DISASTER PREVENTION AND EDUCATION CENTRE
Authors: Tristan P. Hughes
Type: Open Architectural design competition
Area: 5865m² (including technical spaces)
Location: Bakirköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Client: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
The objective of the competition was to design Istanbul’s first technology centre, exemplifying an “Edutainment” approach to educating visitors about disasters, in a state-of-the-art building which contributes to Istanbul´s urban context and itself is a prominent tourist attraction. Equipped with latest in visual and audio equipment and simulation systems, the centre will allow visitors to experience earthquakes, hurricanes, fire-fighting situations, smoke filled spaces, liquefaction, tsunamis and how to perform first aid and emergency communications. In addition, the centre will contain a planetarium, library and seminar/meeting spaces.
The project site is located in a newly developing area in the Bakırköy district on the European Side of Istanbul and is close to Atatürk International Airport.
Istanbul is located north of the North Anatolian Fault which is one of the most energetic earthquake zones in the world. This “transform” tectonic plate boundary is a joint in which the surfaces on each side of the fault move horizontally and parallel to each other and it is this so called “shifting” of two surfaces in opposite directions that is the basis of our proposal.
Our concept starts with a castle or mansion built on top of a hill. Over the years the ground has “shifted”, this has made the ground crack and spread forming a canyon that runs the length of the site and for the building itself to shift and split forming a parallelogram shaped mass. What now stands with it’s twisted colonnade is an ancient grand mansion transformed into a centre of learning, focused on the forces that have been changing it over so many years.
Our design reflects the natural processes that have been going on in Istanbul for Millennia and which will never cease, it is an emblem of what can be built in-spite of this potentially disastrous phenomenon.