comparison: architecture, landscape
These two areas are actually an inseperable whole for us. Since it is not clear where one ends and the other begins, we do not make such a distinction while working. There is not much difference for us in terms of workload and working system. We also show the highest possible sensitivity and care for landscape-oriented projects. A properly handled landscape project contains at least as much sophisticated elements as a building project. In terms of content, three main differences can be mentioned.
Landscape projects are generally projects designed for public spaces. This creates a somewhat interesting situation. Most of the time, your customer is a public institution, but in fact, you don’t design for them, but for a completely different user who you do not know at all, whose character you do not know, and whose mood you cannot predict. Public spaces, especially those within the urban fabric, are spaces where a wide variety of users of all classes can exist together and freely. Usually, it is difficult to even predict the usage density of the space you designed. This is a situation that fundamentally affects your design reflexes. This is the first difference.
The second difference is actually indirectly linked to the first. The public responsibility issue you feel while designing… You are basically spending the taxes of everyone, all citizens, including yourself, although it seems like a public agency probably finances the business. This requires you to think more intensively on many issues, from the quality of the materials used to the labor costs. It is important to use long-lasting, well-worn materials as much as possible, and to ensure that the money collected from taxes is used correctly and for the public good. But this sensitivity never means inclination to the cheap and commonplace for us. I think this country is not rich enough to use poor quality products / services. That’s why we try to persuade our employers to spend a little more money at every opportunity for business and product items that we find important for the project. If only local governments had the foresight to calculate the maintenance, repair and renewal costs that using low initial cost products and services would have over the years…
Maybe it is not peculiar for landscape projects, but it is necessary to mention the basic problem of project services provided to public institutions. At the end of the tender process, you do not know who will undertake the manufacturing and what kind of contractor will construct the project you designed. For this reason, you should take care not to leave any open points at any point of the project as permitted by the legislation. Because if a contractor who is motivated to earn more instead of doing the job properly gets the job, all your efforts in the design phase will be wasted.
Finally, one more important difference should be mentioned. Although its cleaning and maintenance is periodically done by local governments public spaces / landscape areas are somewhat unclaimed by their nature. Naturally parks, coastal areas, squares and urban fixtures on these areas are the most easily damaged and even stolen in societies where the consciousness of living together is not very developed. In this sense, public spaces can never be as protected as a controlled building. At the same time, these areas are naturally the stage of public events. This causes the designer to feel responsible for developing high-performance details for accidents, vandalism and malicious use.
While everything in the public space should be under control more in terms of both material and detail, on the other hand, I think we have to restrain our demand for control and authority over public spaces to some extent. For example, I find personal traces left by the user on the space, such as humorous writings, poems or graffiti works on surfaces, valuable. I think it shows that this space has been internalized. It is necessary to establish a balance and to open a space where the user can live his / her own experience or express himself / herself.
considerations when designing a user-oriented public space
Frankly, I don’t think there is a specific recipe for designing a public space. Our design reflexes and priorities change according to the place and the user every time. But the most basic indicator of the success of a public space design is the users’ adoption of the emerging space and their extensive use of it. In this sense, I think the research and exploration part before the design phase is very important. We usually keep this process as long as possible and take it seriously. We think about a lot what kind of touch the area to be designed needs, we go to the area many times to experience the current conditions on site and we spend a lot of time there. When you internalize a design area and its dynamics sufficiently, the design produced comes out with a more natural process. If you can establish this affinity with the “place”, what you have produced is as if it had always been there from the beginning. I think users also feel like this.
Of course, I should add this: It is a fact that the new public spaces produced in a country that is rapidly losing its public spaces in its cities need not be well designed to be considered successful. Because there are not as many and varied alternatives for the user to compare. In Turkey at present there is a very serious need and demand for public space. People need urban spaces where they can breathe, green areas where they can step on the grass and sit under the shade of trees. They need promenades where they can walk with their dogs, open spaces where they can spend time on their own and playgrounds where they can spend time with their children in the city. On the other hand, instead of trying to increase these kinds of areas even more, we are building more structures in each space. These outdoor uses, which I mentioned, are actually the most basic city rights that every citizen should demand. One way or another, when you respond to the user’s basic demands, you do most of the work. Beyond that, it depends on how seriously you take the city and your profession.
balancing the possibility of togetherness and loneliness of users
It’s really important to balance this. We set up different types of uses in the areas we design. We create different scenarios that people can experience alone, in small groups or in large crowds, and different spatial configurations according to these scenarios. But we also take care to do this in a way that allows as much flexibility as possible. For example, we shaped all the designs we made for the İzmir Karşıyaka coastline around the concept of Counter – Space, which we use by quoting Lefebvre. Without dictating any use of the space to the user, we aimed to create a physical base suitable for th experience that the user will create with her own free will. Because the public space is a medium that always open to surprises. Often what you designed may not correspond to what actually happened. In this sense, public spaces are very dynamic spaces in terms of usage diversity. This is perhaps the best part of the job. The unexpected uses that emerged over time in a space you designed, and alternative forms of use that were not designed with that intention, seem interesting and exciting to me.
projects: similarities, differences
The most important issue in all of our projects is that establishing a healthy relationship of the spatial setup we designed with its environment. The most important issue in all of our projects is that establishing a healthy relationship of the spatial setup we designed with its environment. The size and character of this relationship depends on the character of the environment. A few examples that stand out in this context:
In terms of the relationship established with the city and coastal landscape: Bostanlı Footbridge & Sunset Lounge, Bostanlı Sea Square.
In terms of the relationship established with the city and archaeological landscape: Yeşilova Höyük Visitor Center.
In terms of integration with the natural and botanical landscape: LSV Nature and Recreation Center, National Competition (Honorable Mention).
In terms of integration with the urban texture and historical landscape: Çekirge Square in Bursa, National Competition (Honorable Mention).
We think that the landscape is an inseparable whole with all its natural, botanical, structural, urban, technical and human components, and we care that the spatial constructions we create should contribute to this whole without breaking this integrity.
i would like to rather
Not in a big city, but in a small coastal town, I would like to rather deal with the design of a small square in a vernacular texture, overlooking the sea slightly from above, with a sweet slope and a few old olive trees on it, surrounded by local shops and low old stone buildings.