İstiklal is Reviving …
İstiklal Caddesi, also known as Cadde-i Kebir or Grand Rue de Pera, has become a symbol of İstanbul for its own sake, independent of its association with Taksim. It is an urban line in which cultural and architectural heritage and collective memory live. Before the implementation of this project, İstiklal has turned into a street without a soul or identity, which was only covered by the overwhelming smells from the restaurants. The project aimed to rehabilitate the facades of 209 buildings, as well as the pavement and sections throughout İstiklal. The main aims of the project were: restoring and rehabilitating buildings while preserving their inherent structural qualities, visually rehabilitating the façades, and sustaining past environmental values. As these structural restorations were taking place, user comfort and experience were taken as the main objects of a holistic design approach.
Through the classification of the structures according to their architectural types and functions, levels of intervention (low, middle, high) were defined. The project is a flexible design enabling change, subtraction, addition and restoration in a variety of scales, including elements such as location of buildings on the street, façade colors, façade covering materials, windows, doors, balconies, roofs, gables, drainage systems, AC units, satellite dishes and laundry ropes. Throughout the project, it was suggested and implemented to increase the quality of İstiklal Caddesi from ground to sky, to restore structurally-dangerous parts, to negotiate dissonances and to make contemporary additions.