Balıklama / Drive into the water Dreams on Lara “Mobile Beach”
The extraordinary conditions we faced in March 2020 forced us all to a whole new order. Education also had its share. The courses that started face to face were completed on the computer screens. Summer of 2020, which did not pass as the way we imagined it to be, by promising to take the pain of the sunny months we lost in the coming years and started the autumn period.
In September, we welcomed the third year students of ITU Faculty of Architecture with the promise of a cheerful architectural studio as a consolation of the summer they could not enjoy: Studio Jump into.
Memories of past summers that make us smile…The smell of sunscreen of our childhood, the taste of our youth’s green tangerine in gin-tonic, the summer days that we feel with all our senses … similar but individual experiences … Fried aubergines, watermelon, ice cream, fizzy lemonade, Beatles or Ortaçgil; dive feet first, swallow or headfirst … To the sea … “Jump into …”
The theme was exciting; the possibilities of the new living order were limited. We have set up a design studio that reflects on the problems but also the possibilities of the online education without sacrificing the indispensable elements of architectural studio education. Our paths crossed with an excited and enthusiastic group who would snatch at with us to the design studio run in English. The tough challenge of an online studio is the inability to experience the place-context relationship personally… This challenge forced us to choose a project area that opens itself to us, enabling students to comprehend its environment qualities within the digital medium. We have added two important highlights to this criterion that will elaborate the discussions:
A unique topography that triggers the challenge…
A poetics that will build their complex relationships place and context which allows the design problem to be addressed from different aspects
When the summer that escaped us and all the memory it dragged along is considered with these criteria in mind, our route was Antalya and our project area became “Mobil Beach”, located on the cliffs to the east of the city center. This area, which was turned into a beach by Muratpaşa Municipality after the removal of the old oil transfer centre from here, met our search for multiple program proposals with the opportunities it offered.
The large space surrounded by trees on the upper level of the cliffs is mostly used as a parking lot, sometimes as a viewing point where people isolate themselves to enjoy the sea and sunset, and sometimes as a place of celebration for the people of Antalya. Although it has a place in urban memory with these features, it responded to our expectations as a special spot that can be visualized with its striking first sight and impressive topography even for those who have not yet been there.
The study started with aerial photographs, documentaries on Antalya, graduate theses in order to grasp a place we have never seen or physically experienced. Late on it has evolved to reflect on more theoretical issues such as belongingness to the place, “Genius Loci” and the poetics of the place. The fragile layers of meaning of place-space were discussed with abstract models inspired from aerial photographs by Photographer David Maisel. The geographical memory of the place was imagined with metaphors matching Birhan Keskin’s poems. These preliminary studies were realized in 2.5-dimensional sections / collages.
Readings on Mediterranean architecture and the preservation of Antalya’s modern architectural heritage with both its material and tectonic qualities as well as the natural factors such as ventilation, light and solar energy were amongst the central issues in the studio.
The main theme was a public program proposal in which different functions could coexist, providing fun, leisure and sports activities for the residents of Antalya. Some concepts, approaches and sensitivities such as the scale of the facility, ground level relations-sea level uses, the ability to discover and interpret the potential of Antalya and Lara were highlighted in the whole studio process and especially in questioning the publicness of the space.
Our students, who worked on the spatial arrangements of the special points of the Antalya cliffs and its dramatic and poetic topographic possibilities, are happy to share their projects with the people of Antalya …