Venice, Italy

Side By Side

Designed by Han Tümertekin and Collaborators for The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale; Side by Side is enabling possibilities for co-existence at the water’s edges where “mobility makes place” (Jensen, 2009).
Photo: Cemal Emden

Istanbul’s unique geography where the sea and the land meet at the same level enables a vibrant public life  on the waterfronts of the city. It also provides a series of transitional spaces where inhabitants criss-cross the Bosphorus as part of their daily routines in the city. This project is inspired by  everyday urban mobility, transitional spaces, and urban travel. It is interested in the ways in which “mobility makes place” (Jensen, 2009) and exploring the possibilities and potentials of bringing people together, side by side in places they have not been before. The Venice Project  provides Steps in Arsenale. This spatial intervention enables a break, a stopover in the circulation of the Biennale and invites the visitors to be side by side on the water’s edge offering various alternatives: a vista and a relaxation area on top and a shaded area underneath. Enabling possibilities for co-existence at the water’s edges, Side by Side is intended to be inspirational for cities alike.

Exploring the water’s edges
Istanbul – a city split by water, namely the Bosphorus. A unique geography where the sea and the land meet at the same level enables a vibrant public life on the waterfronts of the city. This geography also provides a series of transitional spaces where inhabitants criss-cross the Bosphorous as part of their daily routines in the city. It is inspiring to observe this everyday urban mobility, transitional spaces, and urban travel. It is also challenging to explore the possibilities and potentials of bringing people together, side by side, in places they did not co-exist before. Is it possible to bring various groups of people together in novel forms and enable new sets of unpredictable encounters – a new spatial contract at the water’s edges?

Working and Thinking Through Collaboration
Rethinking the role of the architect as a convener of different disciplines, bringing together different perspectives, voices, and ideas, side by side. Each discipline is anchored in its own assumptions, strengths, weaknesses, and blindspots. Starting from scratch, starting over and over again, and asking the basic questions. The challenge of translating ideas into specific designs and spatial interventions. Exploring the possibilities of creating new meeting points, novel vistas, urban stops and different forms of socialization/coming together at the water’s edges. Istanbul and Venice-thinking simultaneously about these two cities: historical continuities, geographical similarities, different contexts and contextual re-interpretations. Thinking through and beyond these two cities – is it possible to inspire cities alike?

Materialization
From sketch to reality, the motivation was to have a structure on our hands that would be demountable and relocatable. We didn’t know that it would end-up being wooden and concrete, however, we knew that we wanted to build a structure which is warm, comfortable to touch and sit on and communicates well with the marine culture and existing context.

Engineering was a big part of the design process and oriented us from the beginning. While working on the console’s structural calculations, we decided to have a heavy concrete base and a lighter wooden top with steps for people to sit “Side by Side”.

Project Supporters:
Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Nefes Assos, Semih & Nükhet Özmen, Museum Card İstanbul, Stoneline, VitrA, Aslı Atay, Bilsar, Füsun & Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Kastamonu Entegre, Schüco, Murat Öztürk, Yapıkur, Siska, Jotun, Nurus, Bilişim Vadisi, Koleksiyon Mobilya

Side by Side

Architect: Han Tümertekin

Collaborators: Afyer Bartu Candan (Urban Anthropologist), Hayriye Sözen (Architect), Hakan Tüzün Şengün (Architect), Zeynep Tümertekin (Architect), Ali Gürer (Architect), Ahmet Topbaş (Structural Engineer) Mert Kaya (Video Artist), Sena Özfiliz (Visual Documenter), Tuna Ortaylı Kazıcı (Project Coordinator)

Photo credits: Cemal Emden

Han Tümertekin and Collaborators
Architect
Han Tümertekin, Ayfer Bartu Candan, Hayriye Sözen, Hakan Tüzün Şengün, Zeynep Tümertekin, Ali Gürer, Ahmet Topbaş, Sena Özfiliz, Mert Kaya, Tuna Ortaylı Kazıcı
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