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Golden Horn

Golden Horn, due to its strategic location and favorable geographical structure, has functioned as a protected harbor since the Roman period. Consequently, trade in the region rapidly developed, shaping the area with the construction of necessary structures for the sale, storage, and shipment of incoming goods. With the conquest of Istanbul, the shipyard area established in the region turned it into a significant industrial center. The opening of inns, workshops, and warehouses increased the vibrancy of the region, turning it into a focal point for various socio-cultural groups. Parallel to these developments, the population in the area began to grow and diversify. From the 19th century onwards, with the effects of the Industrial Revolution, the Ottoman Empire embarked on industrialization, replacing small workshops with industrial structures. In the early 20th century, within the framework of the Haliç Prost Plan, the area was designated as an industrial zone. Alongside these developments, the bridges constructed in the region strengthened the continuity of the city by connecting the two shores of the Golden Horn.

However, increased industrialization led to rapid urbanization and environmental pollution, harming the biological diversity of the Golden Horn. In the second half of the 20th century, efforts to clean the area from industrial waste began, and many factory buildings along the coastline were demolished. After the demolitions, the vacant areas were transformed into recreational spaces. From the beginning of the 21st century, refunctionalization projects were initiated for the few remaining industrial structures in the area, such as the Silahtarağa Power Plant, and Haliç was planned as a cultural and tourist center.


The project area is located in the extension of the Bosphorus line, continuing the cultural axis of Tophane and Karaköy. The tourist and commercial center of Eminönü, located to the south of the Golden Horn, is connected to the region through Galata Bridge, Unkapanı Bridge, and the Golden Horn Metro Bridge, providing both vehicle and pedestrian connections. The potential to establish a direct relationship with the residential and tourism-oriented areas of the Beyoğlu district, located to the north of the competition area, exists. The Karaköy region is the meeting point of the historic Galata region with the sea, while the shipyard areas connect with residential areas such as Kasımpaşa and Hasköy. The nearby educational and cultural structures also contribute to the diverse experiences of the region's users throughout the day.


When the project area, extending from Galata Bridge to the Haliç Shipyard, is examined, it is observed that the region has a rich archaeological history. The structural and cultural traces of different civilizations such as Byzantine, Genoese, and Ottoman can be observed. Two main functions, production, and recreation, are observed in the project area.

The project area stands out as an important industrial heritage. The production structures in the area describe the industrial identity that has shaped the region. The most important of these is the Haliç Shipyard, which is still in operation and has a significant place in the silhouette of the Golden Horn with its cranes. The Perşembe Pazarı area stands out as a production and trade area from past to present; Inns and Bedestens describe the identity of the region. We believe that preserving these functions that increase the daytime population of the region as a cultural value is important.

The areas vacated by the relocation of industry in Haliç have been assigned recreational functions. The coastline has been arranged as a green area. The Taşkızak and Camialtı shipyards have been redesigned by taking on public functions.


The project area, extending from Karaköy to Hasköy, is located at a strategic point where the sea, land, and rail transportation networks intersect at the entrance of the Golden Horn. In the project area, located in Karaköy, transportation is provided to the Karaköy region by sea from motorboats and ferries, and by land from buses, trams, tunnels, and the metro, connecting various points of Istanbul. Kasımpaşa can be reached by sea from motorboats and by land from buses and shared taxis.

Intervention Strategies

It can be seen that many projects have been produced for the region recently. The reevaluation of shipyards with tourist and cultural functions is on the agenda. The Karaköy Thursday Market coastal area has recently been reprojected and opened to the public as a recreational area. In addition to these, transportation projects such as the metro bridge have added a new dynamic to the region.

In the area between Karaköy and Kasımpaşa, where many layers come together, we adopted the strategy of understanding the existing and strengthening urban connections with an addition rather than proposing a new design by "excavating" the layers. In this way, we aimed to ensure physical and functional sustainability and aimed to sustain public continuity. For this, we defined 4 design criteria; Focus, Routes, connection lines, and program.

We designed the proposed focal points based on existing transportation points. We planned these areas as hinge points connecting to the city as qualified public spaces. We ensured the continuity of the foci by continuing the physical and programmatic traces observed in the area with the routes we created. We designed perpendicular roads connecting the residential and tourism-oriented areas surrounding the project area with the coast, carrying the street traces of the Galata and Kasımpaşa neighborhoods to the Golden Horn. We created piers at points where they meet the coast. The recreational functions supported by light structures in the grid areas created by the connection lines of the routes were proposed.


Points where the transportation networks intersect with the project area are considered as focal points connecting Haliç with the city. In the project area, 4 focal points are defined: Karaköy Pier Square, Azapkapı Square, Haliç Shipyard, and Kasımpaşa Square. These focal points are evaluated together with their urban texture, and different physical and functional features are designed for each.


The wooden promenade and bike and running track completed between Galata Bridge and the Metro Bridge connect Karaköy Square and the Metro station, providing a public value to the area. We aimed to turn this design into a strong promenade axis connecting Karaköy Square with the Golden Horn by extending it to Hasköy. In our proposed design, we planned for this axis to continue from the front of the Shipyard with a floating pier and reach Kasımpaşa Square in this way. The pier system was designed to allow entry to the Shipyard area when necessary. The concrete promenade axis, starting from Kasımpaşa Square, was integrated with the public areas in Taşkızak Shipyard by publicizing the coastal part of the military area.

Together with the recreational route along the coastline, we propose a tourist route that emphasizes the industrial heritage of the region, adding value to the area as a tourist destination. The route passes through the middle of the Thursday Market, visiting historical buildings such as Kurşunlu Han and Galata Bedesten, and connects Karaköy Pier Square with Azapkapı Square. We recommend preserving the production and commercial functions in this area as enriching elements of the route.

The tourist route continues from Azapkapı Square, following the walls, meeting with the coastal axis, passing under the Unkapanı Bridge, and reaching the shipyard area. The route continues within the shipyard with the bridge we proposed and merges with Kasımpaşa Square. Thus, while the Shipyard area continues its function, public continuity is maintained, and the area is transformed into an open-air museum where production can be observed.

Kasımpaşa Square

Goldenhorn Shipyard

Connection Lines

Vertical connection roads to connect the residential areas north of the Golden Horn with the coastline have been proposed to unite the coastal line with the residential and tourism areas. These roads facilitate access to the coastline for residential and tourism areas and provide transitions between the defined tourist and recreational routes. Thanks to the Connection Lines, relations with Galata, Pera, and Kasımpaşa areas, which are the immediate impact area of ​​Haliç, have been strengthened. The routes created by these lines connect these areas by land.

The connection lines were emphasized with ground covering and afforestation. At points where they reach the sea, pedestrian paths turn into piers, providing opportunities for public activities such as fishing and viewing.


The green areas created at the intersections of the proposed routes and connection lines were evaluated in the design as active and passive recreation areas. Red-colored steel structures that refer to the industrial heritage of the region were designed to define the stops of the recreational route in these areas. These structures meet the support functions such as buffets, wet volumes, stages required for the activities to be realized in the area.

In Karaköy and Kasımpaşa, these zones were designed as sports fields, children's play areas, observation towers, and activity meadows where outdoor activities such as concerts and yoga could be organized. These stop points can be reshaped according to demands over time. In this way, participatory urban planning is supported.

To ensure the use of the area at all times of the day, dense afforestation that will create shade is recommended. Coordination is foreseen with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's Istanbul is Yours, City Furniture, and Play-Recreation Products Design Competition for urban furniture and children's play areas in recreational areas.

Azapkapı Recreation Area

Karaköy Fish Market

Karaköy Square

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

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