By: Sinan Gunay & Nurhayat Oz
AN EPILOGUE to an ARCHWAY
Istanbul is one of the most chaotic and dense cities in the northern hemisphere of the world, with a daily population of around 20million people travelling around the wonders and disgraces of this lively and relentless city day and night jumbled rough and tumble; nowadays feeling exhausted and overweight, the latest housing boom, expanded its boundaries more and more. It does now seem utopical, however this will come to an end when the last piece of earth is constructed, probably sooner than expected and then the ultimate question will come! So what now? Where are we going? What have we missed during the journey?
However this is a rhetorical question, one of a kind solution can be derived from the city’s own roots, anamorphosised within a corrupted futuristic Freudian dream, trying to connect the mother city again along together with one of its landmarks, nearly forgotten its main purpose, just dressing up for the old postcards, so here you are, the "Valens Archway!"
It was made by Roman emperor "Valens" at the end of 4th century, supplying the water demand in Middle Century. It had a great importance for Romans and later Ottomans and has lost its significance and functionality after technological and infrastructural advancements and pulled the plug on to become one of the landmarks of the city.
The surviving section of the archway is 921 metres long, and a boulevard passes through its arches accompaying the dense traffic flow of Fatih, which is one of the oldest districts of the city with mostly preserved historical urban fabric combining a mix use of housing and traditional trading.
A gridal structure, located above the archway, referencing the openings of the arches, serving as a vertical but linear underlay for the wooden housing modules shot with the pattern of the surrounding ; is exposed to and seperated from the archway to create a promenade with overlapping the fabric of wood and stone, oldie and newbie, history and future, hard and soft, day and night, heavy and light and ultimately generating an alternative elevated life, keeping tabs of the city, instead of just being watched. The linearity of the archway is emphasized with the infinite effect of the gridal system, making it the ground zero which has the infinite possibilities for future correlations with the city.