By Kiran Ghosh
Photography: Courtesy prarchitect
Read Time: 2 mins
Istanbul’s ambitious Watergarden project turns conventional mall typology on its head by establishing a bold horizontal hierarchy…
With a conscious focus only on gastronomy and entertainment, this new recreational centre in the happening Atasehir district of Istanbul aims at creating a new social fabric for the natives and tourists alike.
Designed by Dutch design firm, TConcept with spatial organization and interior design by Görkem Volkan Design Studio, the mixed-use nature and the eclectic programme that spans over a site of 165,000 sq m is centered around a 5000 sq. m. performance pool – the first of its kind in Europe. It also boasts of 15,000 sq.m. City Park designed by DS Architecture that includes several high octane activities for children.
Given its myriad unique entities, the project threads through an intimate cellular spatial organization, breaking away from the conventional to adapt inimitable functions through visual and spatial connects as can be seen in the central gallery which penetrates through each floor plate. A kinetic sculpture also designed by Görkem Volkan Design Studio, ornaments the atrium reflecting and complimenting its unique bustling and dynamic nature.
Through shaded circulation, patinated materials, texture and coloured glass vaults, the two predominant areas - the Nostalgia Street and Organic Market -weave a narrative with different atmospheres and functions, where they forerun the Watergarden project itself, establishing a bold horizontal hierarchy. The sanctity of temporal market places is virtuously retained by using a cast iron structure that can be disassembled, as exhibited by the Organic Market, which adapts to use rather than dictating it. The continued dialogue of temporality and market culture is seen in the selection of easily attachable and replaceable building elements made of perforated metal, stone, natural wood.
A careful balance of open, semi-open and closed spaces stimulates the user, taking into consideration not just the visitor’s experience but also the requirements for employees and residents; emancipating itself from profit-oriented architecture. Much like the historic city of Istanbul, the project is sensitized to evolve with time, culture and society rather than simply conform to popular sentiments.
Project Name: Watergarden
Location: Atasehir, Istanbul
Client: Ziylan Group
Interior Design: Görkem Volkan Design Studio
Park Design: DS Architecture
Total Area: 165,000 sq.m.
Program: Cinema complex of 11 halls; 4000-seater event venue; theatre; entertainment clubs; culinary arts school for both children & adults; sports centre; playground for kids and a kindergarten.