Beylikdüzü Municipality organized a national competition in order to receive proposals for the rehabilitation and design of the Recreational Valley located in Beylikdüzü, the canal running along the valley in the north-south axis and its two bridges, one for pedestrians, the other for vehicles.
The lack of green spaces in Istanbul, mainly caused by the high density of population and the constant flux of migration, has been a well-known fact for decades. But Beylikdüzü, a town on the western suburbs of Istanbul, poses itself with a high potential to offer green spaces not only for its immediate surroundings, but more importantly for Istanbul on an urban scale. Future plans for Beylikdüzü include higher education facilities, attracting younger population to that area. On the the northwest of the site is the existing TUYAP Fair Convention and Congress Centre, renown for bringing together Turkish and foreign trade fairs as well as visitors from around Istanbul.
The Recreational Valley’s proposal by Melike Altınışık Architects, in collaboration with Elif Erdine, is envisioned to act as an Urban Park which integrates recreational, cultural, and sports-related facilities with an emphasis on natural life and ecologies.
As such, sports functions and their related facilities, amphitheatres for arts/cultural activities and the open-air cinema are distributed throughout the valley in areas permitted by the natural slope. These multiple focal areas are connected to each other via various circulation routes (pathways, pedestrian/cycling routes and vertical connections) which are characterized by a fluid, continuous design approach.
The designs of the Pedestrian Crossing and the Motorway Bridge are governed by a unified approach with the fluid design dynamics of the Recreational Valley, a coherent design solution, adaptability to the topography of the valley, and capacity to present visual continuity throughout the site with lightweight structural solutions. In this respect, both bridges integrate form and structure, where form and structure cannot be treated as singular elements in design.
Owing to its lightweight steel structural solution, the Pedestrian Crossing generates visual continuity throughout the valley. It gives way to ease of circulation due to its overhead canopy, which opens up or creates enclosed areas along its path. A key element of the pedestrian crossing is its secondary pedestrian pathway, which tears away from the ground plane of the crossing and follows the curvature of the steel structure towards the bottom of the valley. In this way, while pedestrians can pass along the east-west axis along the crossing, they can also walk down to the valley and reach the pedestrian/cycling route. With the generation of various differentiated circulation routes on the crossing, form, structure, and circulation become intertwined design elements.
The Motorway Bridge is envisioned with a similar steel lightweight structure as the Pedestrian Crossing, allowing for visual continuity and daylight throughout the valley. On each direction, it comprises 2 lanes for vehicle traffic, 1 lane for cycling route, and a pedestrian crossing. The traffic on both directions is separated by a green corridor which runs along the mid-axis of the bridge. The bus and dolmus (shared taxis) stops are located along this green corridor, which is accommodated with overhead canopies for pedestrians.
Due to the location of the bridge, where the winds are received with greatest strength, wind mills are placed on various locations within the green corridor. The electrical energy gained from wind mills are proposed to be implemented for the lighting requirements of the Recreational Valley.