The oriental establishments of the Middle-East, Northern Africa and some parts of Europe all mention the bustling marketplaces in their popular culture. They weren’t just the main centers of trade and business, but were multifunctional entities that contributed to the social and cultural exchange between people and civilizations. These marketplaces were called by different names in different regions and languages; Bazaar in Persian, Souk in Arabic etc. Bazaars, Souks and the trappings of trade feature prominently in paintings and engravings, works of fiction and travel writing. Shopping at souk or bazaar is a standard part of daily life throughout the Middle East. Today, bazaars tend to be found in a city’s medina (old quarter) and are often important tourist attractions.
A bazaar was originally an open-air marketplace. Historically, bazaars were held outside cities at locations where incoming caravans stopped and merchants displayed their goods for sale. Souks or bazaars were established at caravanserai, places where a caravan or caravans arrived and remained for rest and refreshments. Bazaars are traditionally divided into specialized sections dealing in specific types of products, in the case of permanent bazaars each usually housed in a few narrow streets and named after the product it specializes in such as the gold bazaar, the fabric bazaar, the spice bazaar etc.
Bazaars often extended beyond buying and selling goods to include major festivals involving various cultural and social activities. Any bazaar may serve a social function as being a place for people to meet in, in addition to its commercial function. These bazaars formed networks, linking major cities with each other in which goods, culture, people and information could be exchanged. As major cities increased in size, the marketplace shifted to the center of urban cities where it spread out along the city streets, typically in a linear pattern. Around this time, permanent bazaars also became covered marketplaces.
Istanbul, one of the oldest living cities of the world is the bridge between the East and the west as it has embraced both the eastern and the western civilizations. It is the transcontinental city that merges the oriental with the modern, the old with the new. It is home to the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and biggest bazaar in the world that was the socio-economic center of the city at one point of time. As the contemporary influence grows, traditional bazaars are morphing into shopping arcades and malls that are more systematic in their approach. The arcades bring the global culture with them, which is fairly common everywhere in the world. It creates a cultural and social vacuum as these contemporary arcades eliminate the ‘local’ element from these shopping clusters and emphasize on the economic aspect of trade.
The aim of the competition is to design a pop-up bazaar in the heart of Istanbul with the aim of replicating a traditional market in a contemporary way. The proposal must be a poetic response for a temporary/semi-permanent market that attends to its primary function and become a vital urban insertion in the culturally-rich ecosystem.
Re-invent a traditional typology in a contemporary way. The proposal must create an avant-garde and innovative module for a market space in a contemporary fashion, while reflecting on the oriental nature of a bazaar typology. Mall culture has alienated people from a larger social and urban ecology that is one of the primary aspects of a bazaar. The proposal must generate a discussion about the co-relation of community and street commerce under a single roof. The proposal must improve the bazaar architecturally and programmatically keeping its essence alive. The design should focus on the improving the practical aspects of a functional market without any decay of the existing public space. The proposal must develop new techniques for product display, heat control, shade, shelter and waste management in a sustainable fashion, so that the market could become a pragmatic icon for the next generation.
Focus on the multi-functional aspect of a bazaar/marketplace. In a dense urban context, land is a scarce resource. The proposal must strive to create a dynamic multifunctional envelope that can incorporate many functions and use the space optimally. The proposal must add a new dimension to a ‘pop-up’ typology by putting the envelope/structure to different uses during different times/days according to their narrative. The primary function of a bazaar will remain the focus of the dialogue, but the ability of the design to transform itself into an entirely new zone using minimum energy will add to its vitality as a potent urban resource. The intervention should strive to be an ‘active’ zone throughout the day which should be able to give back to the community it co-exists with.
Create an architectural landmark for the people of Istanbul that would enrich the community life. The market must become an important landmark for the neighborhood and an architectural icon that attracts more and more people. The pop-up market should become a strong reference point that would generate awareness towards the preservation of traditions and adopt a cohesive relationship with the modern setup. The pavilion should promote communal harmony and enrich the lives of all kinds of organisms around it.
SITE & AREA PROGRAM
The site for the intervention is located at the entrance plaza of the Yenikapı İstasyonu subway station.
Latitude: 41°00’20”N, Longitude: 28°57’05”E
The size, proportions and number of facilities are left to the participant’s discretion and imagination. Competitors are encouraged to design and propose any kind of innovative and intuitive program or function in addition and extension to the following list of functions, but with an argumentized necessity. Keeping in mind the paucity of space in today’s times, explore the possibility of designing multifunctional and dynamic spaces.Here is a list of some exemplary spaces that the participants can follow:
The proposal must incorporate all necessary functions of a market space like Display kiosks, Storage units, shading devices, signage, lighting etc. The market structure and the type/volume of goods and services depend upon the designer’s narrative. The market must however sell different types of merchandise and items to improve its own commercial viability.
The marketplace can serve as different entity when the primary function is not happening. It can incorporate miscellaneous functions like theatre, skating rink, football field, café etc. in the designated zone.
The programming should be done under these broad categories, but they are free to adhere, ignore, add or subtract to any one of the specific functions with a valid argument based on their theme and design. All four entrance points to the subway station are to be retained on the site.