- FOR STUDENTS
This revitalization project focused on the development of a mixed use urban waterfront node along the Ankara River watershed basin as it passes north of three strategically located Universities – METU, Bilkent and Hacettepe Universities. More specifically the site is located within the undeveloped open spaces south of the river and north of Bilkent Center. This development offers Ankara a sustainable urban prototype, and provides each of the afore-mentioned universities research facilities in all fields of study related to sustainability. Its design and infrastructure highlights advances in sustainability i.e. net zero architecture, urban fabric that embraces the principles of smart growth, alternative sources of energy, urban agriculture, water conservation and purification strategies, wildlife and river basin conservation and remediation, etc. The site’s importance as a potential catalyst in the development of a collaborative
research center as well as a sustainable urban prototype in the reimaging of Ankara’s central urban fabric, its economic potential, scale, and proximity to potential interconnected greenways suggest vast potential, both in terms of the scale of and variety of design and planning interventions possible. The studio exposed students to urban sustainability and community revitalization theory and application as well as the design and development of complex architectural interventions within said sustainable master plan. It also discussed the implementation of Architectural, Landscape Architectural and Planning strategies in urban design and community development. The studio’s collaborative environment was modeled on several of the more successful international design and planning firms’ management policies and design methodologies. Seminar-style lectures were coordinated with immediate opportunities to apply the information in the design studio environment. Students alternatively worked collaboratively on master planning tasks as well as individually on specific architectural projects of their choice.
Ankara is changing rapidly, and amid various urban interventions, it remains beset with an array of developmental issues involving growth, sprawl, economic stagnation, a dearth of natural open space, congested transport, environmental degradation, as well as socio-cultural isolation and stratification. The following document represents both the collective and individual design and planning efforts of Bilkent University’s first graduating class of Architects. The project we chose to focus on is emblematic of the aforementioned developmental issues in that it offers an alternative vision for the Ankara river basin and urban riverfront. The overarching intent is to suggest a sustainable urban living prototype for Ankara. A prototype that approaches sustainability across an array of dimensions: economic, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, and functional. This effort concentrates on the redevelopment of the Ankara River watershed as it passes through critical urban foci. The site’s importance as a potential catalyst in the reimaging of Ankara’s central urban fabric, its economic potential, sheer scale, and proximity to potential interconnected greenways and transportation nodes suggested vast potential, both in terms of the scale of and the variety of design and planning interventions possible. The student teams examined thirty kilometers of river basin at master planning scale. Many urban mobility, infrastructural and open space deficiencies throughout the city were identified and discussed. The teams then collaboratively generated, explored and synthesized alternative urban and site specific design concepts that address the creation of sustainable and livable urban fabric - intelligent urban development along the river corridor in which dense, walkable and mixed-use nodes are combined with strategically placed architectural interventions and conservation easements that preserve, revitalize and interconnect the many unrealized / underutilized natural, cultural and economic amenities existing throughout the area.
Link to the book: Along Ankara Stream / A Sustainable Urban Prototype