80% of the world will be living in the urban areas when the bells toll 2050; sprawling as a solution will lead to the inefficient and lavish use of resources and add more to our carbon footprint day by day, meaning around 2.200 people in a km2 will also concretely feel the effects of climate change, not to mention other living creatures we share the world with.
are we ready to live together? do we have a backup plan that cares for all that, nature, the human, the cities...
Istanbul is one of the most chaotic and dense cities in the northern hemisphere of the world, with a daily population of around 20million people traveling around the wonders and disgraces of this lively and relentless city day and night jumbled rough and tumble; nowadays feeling exhausted and overweight, the latest housing boom, expanded its boundaries more and more. it does now seem utopic, however, this will come to an end when the last piece of earth is constructed, probably sooner than expected and then the ultimate question will come! so what now? where are we going? what have we missed during the journey? however, this is a rhetorical question, one of a kind solution can be derived from the city’s own roots, anamorphosis within a corrupted futuristic Freudian dream, trying to connect the mother city again along together with one of its landmarks, nearly forgotten its main purpose, just dressing up for the old postcards, so here you are, the "Valens archway!"
in this irrepressible speed of urbanization, instead of being a burden to a considerable extent by sprawling new neighborhoods outside the skirts of the city, can we find another growth solution for overpopulation, employing existing resources and infrastructure, making the best out of them?
it was made by Roman emperor "Valens" at the end of the 4th century, supplying the water demand in the middle century. it had great importance for Romans and later ottomans and has lost its significance and functionality after technological and infrastructural advancements and pulled the plug on to become one of the landmarks of the city. the surviving section of the archway is 921 meters long, and a boulevard passes through its arches accompanying the dense traffic flow of Fatih, which is one of the oldest districts of the city with mostly preserved historical urban fabric combining a mixed-use of housing and traditional trading.
a grid structure, located above the archway, referencing the openings of the arches, serving as a vertical but linear underlay for the wooden housing modules shot with the pattern of the surrounding; is exposed to and separated from the archway to create a promenade with overlapping the fabric of wood and stone, old and new, history and future, hard and soft, day and night, heavy and light and ultimately generating an alternative elevated life, keeping tabs of the city, instead of just being watched. The linearity of the archway is emphasized with the infinite effect of the grid system, making it ground zero which has infinite possibilities for future correlations with the city.
using Valens archway as a base for unveiling a new public realm with fascinating city views supporting city life, wooden modular housing units pop-up over this unconventional promenade, giving afresh horizon for the neighboring, overlooking the historical peninsula on both sides.