International Competition of Bandırma Design Park
New Time and Space in Bandırma: An Urban Park and Design Institute
The project rests upon the idea of maintaining the existing natural and urban contexts and architectural heritage, and integrating new proposal to Bandırma urban culture. The project takes Bandırma as one of the major cultural, industrial, and touristic towns of Turkey that is conceptually and functionally located at the very dynamic junction of two seas, i.e., Aegean and Marmara. The new park proposal represents green network, social life, education, technology, and recreation on one side, and offers new accommodation types via four and five-star self-sufficient, ecological hotels, and commercial models in more urban, humane, and natural environments.
The main aim of the Urban Park is to appreciate and to sustain existing assets and contextual qualities, such as migrant birds' pools, port(s), and dense vegetation. By this design approach, some design concepts (mobility, accessibility, flexibility, balance, variety, entrances, and connections), and certain term couples metaphorically and architecturally considered and designed via Bandırma Urban Park, by (re)claiming meaning of a habitat, i.e., the port and the station; art and industry; design and technology; and birds and winds.
The main scheme of the project is resumed from the movement directions, edges, and thresholds of the site. The History Route is symbolized by the Biological Bridge coming from the Ancient City / Archaeological Site, climbing towards the Ancient Gate on the south-east direction, and being completed by the Main Alley of the Urban Park. Sea Route refers to İstanbul and Panormos - the Old Protected Port and is completed by the New Port as the northern gate at the west. The major axis connecting the City of Bandırma to Erdek and to the west is called City Route or Route 10, and major entrance of the Urban Park with the funicular system, the tram station, and management units is the Urban Gate, welcoming Bandırma to the Activity Corridor of the Park.
Natural heritage of the project site is totally protected by means of flora and fauna. The natural cycles existing on the site are retained by using topography for designing multiple layers of the Urban Park, by thematic gardens of Balıkesir flora and endemic plants of the region, by designing birds' pools, preserving rural landscape and wetlands, and nests on the bird migration routes, and considering seasonal changes for new park design. On the northern edge of the site wind curtains, covered by thin film in order not to harm birds, are proposed to minimize climatic effects. Recycling and solid waste management are very crucial for production-consumption chain of Bandırma. Particularly harvesting rain water and reusing containers, and solid waste recycling units are designed in the Urban Park.
The north-south direction is particularly emphasized by the mega but carved, solid but flexible, closed but extraverted, mono-block architecture including the Design Institute, the Four-star Hotel, and the Convention Center. This mono-block is called as the Living Wall of the Bandırma Urban Park. The ground level of the block, Design Institute, serves totally for the public. There is an Open-air Sculpture Garden at the northwest end of military ruins that are turned into a museum, cafes, and workshops. That Open-air Garden will host sculptures for years produced by several sculptors in time as if it is a museum.