‘Kartal – Pendik Masterplan’ by Zaha Hadid Architects
Istanbul, Turkey | 2008
The Kartal – Pendik Masterplan is a winning competition proposal for a new city centre on the east bank of Istanbul.
It is the redevelopment of an abandoned industrial site into a new sub-centre of Istanbul, complete with a central business district, high-end residential development, cultural facilities such as concert halls, museums, and theatres, and leisure programs including a marina and tourist hotels.
The site lies at the confluence of several important infrastructural links, including the major highway connecting Istanbul to Europe and Asia, the coastal highway, sea bus terminals, and heavy and light rail links to the greater metropolitan area.
The project begins by tying together the basic infrastructural and urban context of the surrounding site. Lateral lines stitch together the major road connections emerging from Kartal in the west and Pendik in the east.
The integration of these lateral connections with the main longitudinal axis creates a soft grid that forms the underlying framework for the project. Locally, this net can be bundled to form areas of higher programmatic intensity as well as a vertical build-up of the city fabric.
In certain areas the net rises up to form a network of towers in an open landscape, while in other areas it is inverted to become a denser fabric cut through by streets, and at other times may completely fade away to generate parks and open spaces. Some areas extend out into the water, creating a matrix of floating marinas, shops, and restaurants.
The fabric is further articulated by an urban script that generates different typologies of buildings that respond to the different demands of each district. This calligraphic script creates open conditions that can transform from detached buildings to perimeter blocks, and ultimately into hybrid systems that can create a porous, interconnected network of open spaces that meanders throughout the city.
Through subtle transformations and gradations from one part of the site to the other, the scripted fabric can create a smooth transition from the surrounding context to the new, higher density development on the site.
The soft grid also incorporates possibilities of growth, as in the case where a network of high-rise towers might emerge from an area that was previously allocated to low-rise fabric buildings or faded into open park space. The masterplan is thus a dynamic system that generates an adaptable framework for urban form, balancing the need for a recognizable image and a new environment with a sensitive integration of the new city with the existing surrounds.