“Project Brief”

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.

Studio Book