Test Site Istanbul

The Atelier Istanbul is a joint initiative of the Arnavutköy Municipality and the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, in the context of the 5th IABR: Making City. It was established in order to develop a Strategic Vision and Action Plan for the Arnavutköy area that would recognize and integrate (rather than negate) the forces of social, economic and urban transformation as well as the ecological and environmental urgencies.

In Arnavutköy, protected natural areas supplying the city with drinking water are confronted with rapid urbanization. The strategic vision replies to this dilemma between preservation and growth with an alternative scenario that turns the situation around: it creates a system where urbanization and landscape depend upon each other for survival. The new city is concentrated on the ridge of the basin. It recycles and treats its water output in order to irrigate and feed consecutive agricultural and natural zones inside the basin, which in turn relieve heat islands in the city. Furthermore, each landscape zone is shaped to acquire undeniable physical presence. Given presence and life, this productive landscape prevents uncontrolled growth and thus protects the water basin. The direct relationship between urban and landscape additionally produces a specific living environment, where advantages of urban life are coupled to an abundance of nature within hand’s reach.

  • Location

    Arnavutköy, Istanbul

  • Client

    International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Municipality of Arnavutköy, Istanbul

  • Project


  • Exhibition


  • In collaboration with

    H+N+S landscape architects

  • 51N4E project team

    Freek Persyn, Sotiria Kornaropoulou, Vesna Jovanovic, Peter Swinnen, Guido Brandi, Georgios Eftaxiopoulos, Nelson Van Campenhout

  • 51N4E involvement

    Full Process

  • Consultants

    Architecture Workroom Brussels, Asu Aksoy (curating / coordination)

  • Image credits

    51N4E / HNS