Building / introducing new in existing – historical context is an intricate and tempting question for architects. It is important to state the objectives and approach of design process at the very beginning.Soganlı District Urban Transformation Project was an opportunity to review and realize our perspective on building in a tough historical context.
Province of Bursa is of importance in Turkish history as one of the three main capitals of Ottoman Empire. As matter of fact, as a settlement, it has a longer history. It is possible to picture out the traces of settled cultures throughout ages. Not only the public buildings and imperial works of Ottomans, but also the civil structures built by the wealthy people have helped the city to develop a unique urban character.
The analysis of the morphological structure of the city of Bursa, in this respect, bring three important issues forward: Pattern, identity, scale. The image of the city, particularly for the historical ones, is mostly confused with the qualities - identity which created that “look” in time. In that case, architects are most of the time expected to preserve – promote – imitate certain typology – patterns in various scales.Our approach is to redefine the problem in order to emphasize the qualities – characteristics behind the appearance / image of the built environment.
Soganlı District Urban Transformation Project is a design research on the contemporary architectural identity of a particular urban pattern which is under the pressure of social and economic scale transformation.
One of our main research topic was how not to heighten the upper level of the cityscape more than the urban scale would allow. Keeping the height of the buildings on a certain level raised the question of density of the built environment. Linear blocks, as a new interpretation of traditional row housing in different scale, helped us to articulate our new urban morphology around broad boulevards and landscape.
The continuous waves of the porticos alongside the streets created a human-scale rhythm which is carried to the city-scape with the roofs. The roof gardens are green spots / breaks for the horizon line of the city of Bursa.