The refurbishment of the Besiktas Fish Market is not a design and realization process that was prosecuted in an accustomed manner. It is not intended to be carried through to an incomputable state. On the contrary, the aspiration is to initiate a dynamic outset by the gradual functional supplements and substitutions and even with the immediate effects of artistic approaches.
The architectural decisions were constituted with a simplistic approach to form and solutions, in order to allow and welcome revolution in this 26x23/2 triangular space which can subsist with temporary art installations and elements that, only in the course of time, generate themselves through the medium of color, texture and light.
The space mimics a piece of cloth lifted from the corners or a seashell. A junction of three roads thrives with transverse movements. Furthermore the ceiling has been kept high increasing the openness and view capacity of the restaurants. This visual linkage spontaneously promotes an invitation both towards the inside and outside.
The concept of the refurbishment is primarily based on eliminating the distress of neglect, lack of infrastructure and hygiene while preparing the stall and shop owners for a more professional environment. The seafood departments of the many new supermarkets and shopping malls were constructing a more trustworthy appearance with their infrastructure, displays and customer relations. The aim was to take BFM up to a competing level.
Besides the fishmongers, greengrocers have been placed under this shell and furthermore during the restricted fishing seasons other products are put on sale. In the near future it is anticipated to have florists along the main road. This opportunity has been offered to the tradesmen with lesser stalls by the other tradesmen. The necessity of precise refinements observed during the opening period will be resolved by arrangements amongst the tradesmen and restaurant owners, taking advantage of the next restricted fishing season. In this well-loved market neighborhood; giving your grandmother’s chair to a restaurant or having a conversation about how the owner can put his inheritance and luck to better use are both seen as important contributions.
As resources build-up and with sponsorships, another intention is transforming the facades of the surrounding buildings to a platform for artistic events such as the International Istanbul Biennale or more local events.
On the other hand sharing insight on the restricted functioning domain of the daily or professional design-manufacturing and also encouraging the local authorities and institutions which provide education in this field about public space projects had been targeted.
Besiktas Municipality and personally Mister Mayor Ismail Unal who have been of utmost support up until this phase are still involved in the intellectual/experimental process of contributions and actions.
The municipality has taken on an admirable risk/responsibility by bringing together the tradesmen, who constantly complain about penalties issued by the municipality and the ministries; providing them with an opportunity to find solutions by the process of sponsorships and collective labor. (Unfortunately the complaints and being unable to get together is a common dilemma)
Besiktas Municipality does not have a financial aid obligation or need especially for the fish market tradesmen because the tradesmen under this roof are not more privileged than the rest of the market and there is no motive to create unfair competition. By the support of the municipality the project has been maintained in the boundaries mentioned previously. It is expected that the principal service provided will transfer to the rest of the citizens of the district through the fish market trades people. According to an old saying it is a holier contribution to teach a man how to fish instead of giving him a fish to eat. In this case the tradesmen and he restaurant owners who occasionally prefer to be just on the receiving end of the cooperation and the political importance of the location raises an intensely competitive attitude. The final design will provoke curiosity, drawing people in from the rest of the city in addition to the local and frequent customers. Thus increasing the sales and interest for the whole region by entering Istanbul city guides; creating a more sharing and participatory outlook for the trades people.
In the following phases the tradesmen are expected to maintain this space, provide quality service and to make proper adjustments instead of misusing the space.
Currently Mister Aziz Sariyer with his students has been working on solutions to provide design support for some BFM needs such as turbot and other fish that need to be displayed by hanging and packaging units.
Graphic designer Yetkin Basarir, who has actualized institutional work for 2010 Culture Capital project and has designed Istanbul’s current street signs, will be providing support on other matters.
The esteemed and internationally accomplished art curator Necmi Sonmez will also be providing his support for BFM. What kind of an art/trades encounter/rendezvous will it become? Even Besiktas as a district on its own has so many daily issues awaiting attention, constructive design solutions that the whole city would benefit by the example.
Just as GAD and local tradesmen have done, direct design assistance can be provided for the Besiktas Municipality for the rest of the district market. A district museum/center where suggestions can be gathered in an organized manner, is in the plans. This center will attempt to apply the ones realistic for the time being and will carefully archive the more utopic options. Utopias are also necessary, banning utopias and thoughts on urban life have not only been the habit of authorities but also the public.
One of the highlights has been receiving a design invitation from the Portland/Oregon citizens who have found the experience and the results intriguing.
THE FRONT AND BACK OF URBAN DESIGN GAD, a regular of the market, has put together the initial design, information and legal work by the request of the shop/stall owners of the district market. We have also taken on the responsibility of finding an appropriate sponsor and support and have carried out the supervision work gratuitously by the assistance of the collective labor/sponsorships. GAD’s “Good Deeds Department” along with local and international designer, architects and students has been creating alternative approaches and developing theses.
Kadikoy Park/ Public toilets being internationally exhibited, taken into books and with its awards is one of the first examples of work in this field.
BFM has many website entries on search engines such as Google under the “besiktas fish market”. GAD is very content with BFM’s international success and appeal. Both or district and our city will benefit from this.
Furthermore we have been issued an invite by the citizens of Portland/Oregon…
GAD Good Deeds Department within its own opportunities is aiming to set up an architecture and design student competition concerning the needs of the fish market and the general needs of the district market.
A FEW GENERAL REMARKS According to our observations local authorities are not familiar with this type of project development and do not consult at the point where they are constrained. These are not only issues which expect service form the municipality. The local authorities instead of consulting in and delegating the job to experts with a guilty conscience, keep on trying to solve the problems by the rule of thumb. At the same time the public opinion, judging by the past attempts, is that whatever is done there won’t be any positive results.
This attitude prevents the previously mentioned cooperation. Whereas, the mediation of parties, job description, professionalism, division of labor and civilization are notions that call for reciprocal experiences. Instead of taking a direct standpoint against the results it is necessary to deliberate and experiment on the improvement of approaches. Even though at the beginning results may turn out to be inefficient it is of great importance to gain experience to create more effective solutions in the future.
The indefinite or extremely defined nature of boundaries between public and private spaces is a common problem of Turkish cities and the boundaries can only be softened and regulated by means of continuous experimentation.
Today along with Kapalicarsi many public spaces and even 1st degree historical sites suffer the consequences of this ambiguity. However extreme definition has made Istanbul the only city with skyscrapers with garden walls…
In the public space citizens don’t only receive service but also improve the service and share the give and take of collaborating. Local authorities will improve their outlook by focusing on the giving and receiving parties instead of directly focusing on the service itself. It is impossible or very costly for a municipality to keep cleaning up after a community that insists on littering the streets. Differentiating between the ones that litter and the ones don’t, requires the development of a technique. How would the public be encouraged not to litter? How the advanced cities came to be the way they are, evidently by these methods…
The approach should first of all be towards preparing the infrastructure and diversity of the assembly. The end product is the result of the experience of the process and the achievement of these stages will allow more issues to be raised.
OFF THE RECORD What can withstand a crowd focused only on the football game and like grasshoppers destroys whatever is on the way from home to the stadium, throws all the trash on the ground and disrupts the surroundings after the game ends?
Or should there even be a solution for this? In the Besiktas Municipality there are more universities compared to the other municipalities of Istanbul. Thus taking this to consideration it was proposed to establish departments which would train personnel for the local administrations. These departments would provide education on the history of local administrations, urban planning and history of cities, professional management, development, development law, urban dynamics, urban regeneration, traffics, resource development and service development. It is anticipated that this department will soon be established by Mister Mayor. The education and research of this department, highly related to architecture and urbanism, will be very valuable for the circulating capital that will be founded and the commission works. We will provide the necessary support.