The project site of Golden Horn Industrial Landscape is the “Golden” Horn in Istanbul, which has been an important and valuable setting throughout history due to its geographical location, particularly associated with shipyards and the shipyard industry for decades, and the inspiration source behind many mythological stories.

To briefly describe the project, it would be useful to refer to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs were thoroughly investigated in the initial stages of the design process to generate a framework firstly identifying the problems of the metropolis, then, linking these problems with related SDG targets, and finally coming up with solution strategies to overcome the problematic aspects.

The major urban problems of the metropolitan city of Istanbul are identified as lack of greenery, contamination, pollution, overpopulation, traffic, stress, and poverty as a result of the analyses conducted; and two main concepts are generated as the outcome of the aforementioned framework, outlining the main strategies proposed by this project: 1) Creating a green corridor and 2) Implementing a rotating industrial mechanism focusing on creative productions.

Though Istanbul possesses large pieces of greenery on its north as forests, the city has been developed mostly around the south, which is scarce in terms of green infrastructure. There are only small green fragments in the dense metropolis, not sufficient enough to meet the needs of the population rapidly increasing day by day. Therefore, the first strategy of creating a green corridor by linking the fragments of greenery with the forests on the north along the Golden Horn (and the two creeks as the continuation of the water body) was adopted to create an “urban respite” where the inhabitants could “breathe” in the middle of the dense urban environment which would not only enhance the life quality proposed by the area but also have beneficial effects in terms of the users’ physical and mental well-being.

This project also aims to preserve the industrial heritage of the site in addition to the insertion of a green respite. The shipyard industry (also considered as a certain type of “craft”) has become a main characteristic of the site over the years, and we believe it is important to protect this unique feature of the area. Therefore, an industrial mechanism revolving around creative industries (primarily focused on shipyard-related crafts) is formed, based on a system where people could get educated about the particular craft via vocational centers, work in shipyards, and make a living to support themselves and their families.

Industrial areas are usually isolated from the remaining part of the cities they’re in, however, our approach is quite untraditional in this sense. We wanted the public to be quite strongly involved with the industrial activities, therefore we also proposed functions in our masterplan such as museums regarding ship production and its heritage, exhibitions, performance halls and workshops that could be used for multiple purposes, and green areas along the waterfront as gathering spaces. Our main aim could be defined as transforming the Golden Horn area into an attractive and easily accessible environment for the public, also embracing the characteristic industrial heritage.

Alongside the different scales involved within the project, such as the metropolitan analysis and masterplan proposal, one of the functions proposed in the masterplan, the social complex, has been selected for further architectural development, which demonstrates the final stage of this design.



Project Location: Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey

Master Plan Site Area: 325.000 square meter
Focussed Site Area: 5.000 square meter

İpek Düzova ( Bilkent University Architecture Student / Politecnico Di Milano Erasmus Student )

Ece Sel ( Bilkent University Architecture Student / Politecnico Di Milano Erasmus Student )


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