Project Description
Nature Writes the History: Gallipoli National Park

The main aim of this project is to ensure that what will be done in order to commemorate the martyrs does not endanger or dominate the peninsula, which is the only witness of the events of that history. Gallipoli occupies a significant place in the collective memory of all the nations involved in the Çanakkale War. Gallipoli is also a geography of respect, reckoning the importance of peace alongside a war of heavy losses. In addition to its historical significance, Gallipoli is set aside by its natural beauty, its flora and its characteristic topography, all of which will act as foundational elements for the identity of the National Park. The spatial and visual language of the area should be modest, tranquil and relaxing in order to deepen the experience of the visitors, to sustain the nature and to enable a mental and emotional focus.

In deep valleys and non-agricultural areas, the rural landscape character lingers. The project aims to sustain this self-formed balance and it refrains from intervening in the nature. Furthermore, the uniquely dynamic topography of the historical peninsula emerges as the most important landscape value of the area.

The project area consists of six major focal areas: Ertuğrul Bastion, Monument, Morto Bay, Chunuk Bair, 57. Regiment, Şahindere Martyrdom and Mecidiye Bastion.

The Ertuğrul Bastion contains many important sub-focal points in addition to the bastions. The road going through the sub-focal points, parking lot, undefined and broad hard landscape and kiosks weaken the circulation and visual connections. For this reason, the most important intervention proposal is to almost completely eliminate hard surfaces in the agricultural area and to continue the existing agricultural pattern. The main approaching axis of the area is oriented towards the bastions. A narrow crevice opened in the landfill provides the site with an entrance with a dramatic perspective enhancing the perception of the bastions, martyria and monuments, as well as the southern tip of the peninsula. The strong visual connection between the Ertuğrul Bay, as well as the martyria and Seddül-bahir Village it contains, was complemented with the development of a physical connection, while service areas for eating-drinking, sale and restrooms were located in the village.

The monumental landmark in the area has become the identifier of Çanakkale and Gallipoli National Park, and has carved itself a space in collective memory. As the most significant focal point certainly visited by everyone arriving at the park, and the setting of the official ceremonies, the monument is the center of a dense vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The irregular parking lot at the entrance of the area has been replaced with a small entrance plaza containing a shuttle stop and accentuated by a statue of Atatürk.

Despite their strong identity, the size and positions of the inscriptions of Chunuk Bair have obstructed the view of many points from the hilltop. Furthermore, the lack of communication between the smaller node points causes problems in orientation and direction for the visitors. As a remedy, one of the fundamental intervention suggestions of the project is to connect the first hill with the second hill, accommodating the statue of Atatürk and the New Zealand Monument, with a curvilinear circulation route following the topography and the traces of the trenches, thus framing and clarifying the center of the area.

The northern ridge of the peninsula, which accommodates the 57. Regiment Martyrdom, played an important role in the fate of the war because of its geographical dominance, and thus was the place of many losses. However, the ridge line is invaded by the road, while large parking lots and dense trees block it from both directions. For this reason, the main intervention suggestion is to change the road line to the former parking lot areas without adding further pavements, to eliminate as much hard landscape from the ridge line as possible, and to open it to visitor access. While it is possible to see both the Queen Post Cemetery and the Turkish side with its 57. Regiment Martyrdom on one tip of the area, one can see the geography occupied by the invasion forces on the other tip.

Şahindere Martyrdom is smaller than other focal areas, and does not contain different nodes. It is almost impossible to detect this area from the road. Furthermore, existing physical connections are inadequate for crowded days and are not fit for the elderly and people with disabilities. The main suggestion for intervention is to continue the geometry of the martyrdom on the other side of the road with a sunflower field. A level bridge is designed to enable access to the area through this connected landscape.

While the Mecidiye Bastion is close to the road, it is not noticeable because of the topography, and because of the fact that the bastions were designed to be invisible from the sea (and thus the road) in the first place. The Corporal Seyit Monument, which was designed to emphasize the entrance to the site, is inadequate for this purpose. The summer houses nearby the area damage the emotional and monumental character of the site. For these reasons, the main intervention suggestion here is to extend the line of the bastions to obtain a lower slope, thus enabling a strong visual connection between the area and the road.
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Project Details
  • CollaborationÖzer / Ürger Architecture, DGT Agency, Design Base
  • LocationÇanakkale, Turkey
  • Year2014
  • Prize3rd Prize
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