Project Description
An Urban Exhibit that Challenges Time:
Diyarbakır City Wall – Outside the Wall – Unique Wall (Sur – Derve – Yekane)

Landscape Design Project of Diyarbakır Outer Fortress is located between the old city market and Fiskaya, on the northwestern edge of the “Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens” property, inscribed for World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2015. The project is a proposal to use a plain and serene landscape approach, in which all the problems physically and visually damaging the fortification walls in the current situation are resolved with the necessary interventions. The project is underlined by the pedestrian promenade, which is part of the overall design approach that strives to respect and emphasize the city wall without being in competition with them. The conceptual approach of the project is to implement the idea of an open-air museum in the area, in which the walls become part of the exhibit.

The leading figure and landmark of the project is the Diyarbakır Fortress, which holds an ever-increasing significance in local, national and international perception. The project area extends as a curved line along thirty-three towers and four gates – Urfa Gate, Double Gate, Single Gate and Harput (Mountain) Gate, as well as the stretch of walls uniting them.

The uncontrolled and unplanned use of plant material, structures and urban furniture work to the detriment of the walls, undermining their linear effect. The hard landscape elements and roots of the plant material that physically touch the walls create a very dangerous threat for the preservation of the fortification. Furthermore, the resulting visual chaos and pollution decrease the legibility and universal value of the fortifications, especially by interfering with the towers and inscriptions. The project proposes to simplify the green belt beyond the walls as much as possible by saving it from the randomly used plants and urban furniture, to reestablish the balance between the horizontal and vertical elements, to remove all the materials touching the walls and to establish a buffer zone around the walls with natural pebbles in light-gray tones. The horizon leading to the walls is opened up, and only grass surfaces are used between the walls and the pedestrian promenade. In addition, twelve vista points are determined throughout the project area. These vista points see the maximum angle with minimum tree loss, enabling the viewing of Diyarbakır’s historic remains. The whole area is conceptualized as an open-air museum, with 145 cm-tall information boards located in front of each tower, informing the visitors about the history of the towers and the wall segments through the history recorded in the inscriptions, thus making the inscriptions centers of attention for their own sake. The less utilized 250cm-tall orientation and direction boards will be located by the gates and in squares, and will inform the visitors about the general history of Diyarbakır, its fortress and walls, while enabling the visitors to orient themselves and find their way throughout the area.
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Project Details
  • InstitutionGreater City Municipality of Diyarbakır
  • LocationDiyarbakır, Turkey
  • Year2017
  • Surface83.770 m²
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