Beylikdüzü Recreational Valley & Bridges
Melike Altınışık Architects + Elif Erdine
Melike Altınışık with Elif Erdine
Demet Cekic, İrem Coşkun, Ali Uçar
Gül Ertekin, Melih Altınışık
The municipality of Beylikdüzü — an outlying district of Istanbul, Turkey — held a national competition to receive proposals for the rehabilitation and design of the recreational valley located in the area. the designated zone, aside from the valley itself, contains a north-south running canal, and two bridges; one for pedestrians, the other for vehicles.
The lack of green space in the city, caused by high population density and constant migration, has been a constant issue for decades. however, beylikdüzü, located on the western side of istanbul, is highly capable of offering such an area. future plans for the urban area include the building of several higher education facilities, and will join the already important TUYAP convention and congress center located on the northwest corner of the site.
Melike Altınışık Architects, in collaboration with architect Elif Erdine, emphasized the site’s strong points in their competition proposal.
The concept, the ‘Istanbul Urban Park’, is a holistic vision that generates green space, sports and cultural facilities, alongside defined pedestrian, cycling, and vehicle routes. An emphasis is placed upon natural life and ecologies throughout the entirety of the proposed.
As such, sports functions and their related facilities, amphitheaters for arts/cultural activities, and an open-air cinema are distributed throughout the valley in areas naturally permitted by topography. focal areas are connected to each other via various circulation routes — both pedestrian and cyclist — which are characterized by a unified, fluid design approach.
Green Urban Corridor
One of the major urban aims of the proposal is to generate a green urban corridor along the east-west axis of the Valley, by offering green spaces throughout the Pedestrian Axis which will connect to the Pedestrian Crossing, thereby linking the East and west edges of the valley.
A short cycling path on the west part of the Recreational Valley currently exists. One of the major proposals on the urban scale is to extend the cycling path to circulate around the valley and pass through the Pedestrian Crossing, enabling a continuous cycling route, which offers a series of panoramas.
One of the key urban proposals, which will regenerate the Recreational Valley and contribute to its spatial experience, is the Viewing Platforms. These platforms are located along carefully selected focal areas throughout the East and west borders of the valley.
They facilitate visual integration with the valley from various viewpoints, and offer alternative recreational areas for visitors.
Functional Zoning / Focal Areas
The Recreational Valley is envisioned to act as an Urban Park, which integrates recreational, cultural, and sports-related facilities with an emphasis on natural life and ecologies.
As such, sports functions and their related facilities, amphitheaters for arts / cultural activities and the open-air cinema are distributed throughout the valley in areas permitted by the natural slope.
These multiple focal areas are connected to each other via various circulation routes, which are characterized by a fluid, continuous design approach.The focal areas which animate the experience in the Recreational Valley are as follows: Open-air Cinema, Art Arena, Yoga Arena, Beach Volley, Sports Club, Cafes, and Horse Ranch.
Pedestrian Crossing and Bridge
The designs of the Pedestrian Crossing and the Motorway Bridge are governed by a unified approach with the fluid design dynamics of the Recreational Valley, a coherent design solution, adaptability to the topography of the valley, and capacity to present visual continuity throughout the site with lightweight structural solutions. In this respect, both bridges integrate form and structure, where form and structure cannot be treated as singular elements in design.The Motorway Bridge is envisioned with a similar steel lightweight structure as the Pedestrian Crossing, allowing for visual continuity and daylight throughout the valley.
Owing to its lightweight steel structural solution, the Pedestrian Crossing generates visual continuity throughout the valley. It gives way to ease of circulation due to its overhead canopy, which opens up or creates enclosed areas along its path.
A key element of the pedestrian crossing is its secondary pedestrian pathway, which tears away from the ground plane of the crossing and follows the curvature of the steel structure towards the bottom of the valley. In this way, while pedestrians can pass along the east-west axis along the crossing, they can also walk down to the valley and reach the pedestrian / cycling route. With the generation of various differentiated circulation routes on the crossing, form, structure, and circulation become intertwined design elements.
On each direction, it comprises 2 lanes for vehicle traffic, 1 lane for cycling route, and a pedestrian crossing. The traffic on both directions is separated by a green corridor, which runs along the mid-axis of the bridge. The bus and Dolmuş (shared taxis) stops are located along this green corridor, which is accommodated with overhead canopies for pedestrians. Due to the location of the bridge, where the winds are received with greatest strength, windmills are placed on various locations within the green corridor. The electrical energy gained from wind mills are proposed to be implemented for the lighting requirements of the Recreational Valley.
The choice of vegetation employed to integrate Beylikduzu’s urban setting with the natural habitat is based on several goals including the creation of a mild climate, air purification, reducing carbon emissions, and decreasing the negative effects of pollution, noise, and winds. Trees play an integral role in the improvement of soil and air quality. Tree roots prevent soil erosion along valley slopes and ease the absorption process of rainwater. As such, trees have a key function in the stabilization of underground waters in urban developments. Furthermore, sustaining the variety in vegetation to a maximum level aids in the improvement of urban biological diversity. As such, various animal groups can form their own habitats along the valley plains, while healthy insect species can contribute to the newly rehabilitated ecosystem.