Imagination To The Viewer

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Imagination To The Viewer

Derya Sancar


Out of a territorial research I developed the project that creates conditions for a new relation between the people and the water by giving the Bosphorus an identity as a living space, hosting different activities. Within this vision three prototypes of infrastructural monuments change radically the public quality on three exemplary locations on the waterfront. Each is situated in a different environment revealing the strait’s landscape: 1. In the north the proposal guides you through the cliffs and the forest to the beach – the bridge as a reminder for the unstoppable urban growth. 2. At the halfway of the strait a promenade on the water reactivates waterfront in a residential area formerly occupied by industry. 3. Finally in the southern part the ferry terminal is reorganised in form of piers in order to give space to a public park around the historical monuments on-site.

The three prototypes turn the waterfront into a public space and allow the access to the Bosphorus. These simple structures reveal the territorial qualities of the Bosphorus whilst perceptively integrate their urban context.


1. map: Territorial weaving

The vision of the Bosphorus as a huge public space is represented with this map. I came up with the infrastructural monuments, because they connect the different activities, but they are qualitative public spaces as such themselves. By networking them I weave the Bosphorus to one horizontal common space, like a plaza. This happens not only in the city centre but on the whole Bosphorus, in order to experience through this public space all the different landscapes along the coast. The three prototypes emerge from this idea and turn the weaving into architecture. The sites seem to relate in a dialectical way, one on each end and one in the middle.


2. collages: Conceptual collages of ottoman miniatures

The three collages of represent the three prototypes and show a abstract reading of the three sites.  The collages explain in a classical way of representing space the context and the concept of each site without the ambition of beeing and exact drawing. Together they form a trilogy of prototypes that works as a system, they communicate through their language and their broader purpose. Three  complimentary sites without hierarchy tell the story of the Bosphorus as horizontal space and reveal its qualities.



3. axonometries: The three prototypes of infrastructural monuments are represented through axonometric views that lets you see the waterfront from the water as a panorama.  They show the sites with the final design of the infrastructural monuments. They also reveal a constant research in graphics that would make the prototypes more readable.


prototype #1: garipce – the refuge
41°12’34.7”N 29°06’29.7”E
Where the bosphorus kisses the black sea:
Park area around the fortress
Several spots to watch birds and to enjoy the view
You can swim near the cliffs – even though its dangerous
Covered breakwater on the beach

prototype #2: beykoz – having fun on the water
41°07’14.6”N 29°05’50.7”E
Halfway between the black sea and the marmara sea:
Covered plaza for concerts, markets, cultural events or celebrations
Public bath with olympic pool
Covered fish market
Marina and lots of parks

prototype #3: kabataş – urban hustle and bustle
41°02’01.6”N 28°59’35.0”E
Where the bosphorus kisses the marmara sea:
Pier for intercity ferries
Pier for city ferries
Pier for touristic tours
Pier to hang out
and a couple of terraces





Who influences you graphically? 

I think it is quite difficult to define an exact order of people, architects or artists that inspire me graphically in general. I prefer to let my guide by the project to find the appropriate graphical style. The drawings should transmit the idea and the story of the architectural project. I see the process of defining a graphical style as part of developing the architectural project. Therefore I try to find new references for each project.

My drawings for this specific project, especially the axonometric representations, are influenced by post-modern drawings in general. I was looking especially at drawings by Stirling, early Koolhaas, Zenghelis and Aldo Rossi over and over again. But also drawings and representations by contemporary architects such as Bas Smets, Dogma, LCLA Office, Viar Estudio Arquitectura, PiovaneFabi, Yellow Office were often used as references. Moreover I wanted the proposal to become a living and messy part of the city, because it is a thought for the people, and it engages with the popular culture. Therefore I also used pictures by Martin Parr and Massimo Vitali. These photographers somehow catch urban atmospheres and situations I wanted to provoke with the proposal. Furthermore I analysed historical Ottoman miniatures. They have a peculiar way to represent space, which I incorporated into the drawings.

Finally I feel that I have been strongly influenced by my school (EPFL). Not only the work of the studios (Studio Harry Gugger, Studio Kersten Geers, Studio Fröhlich, Studio Perrault) have an impact on our work, but also discussions among the students enrich the drawings.

What inspired the use of different tools of drawings to explore different aspects of the proposal?

The different tools of drawings were used to show to work as architectural proposal on different scales. Because of the huge leaps in scale I had to find ways to represent the project on a territorial scale (maps), on a intermediate scale (axonometries) and on a architectural scale (zooms, images, sections). In that process of finding the appropriate tools I explored the works of historical drawings, ottoman maps and spatial representation of medieval age. They all have in common to show only the important elements. Even though they are not very precise, they reveal the qualities of the territory. Bas Smets uses the same methodology for his projects. His work was the contemporary example of representation of large-scale projects. The difficulty and the importance of using this mode of selective reading of the territory are to select the right information.  This then shapes your way of designing the project and its relation to the context becomes very clear and obvious.


What drove which medium was used to explore what?

Because of the large scale of the projects I quickly abandoned the common tools to represent a project. The difficulty was to find the appropriate format to represent the three prototypes as a whole. I finally used the axonometric view always looking towards the waterfront. This was also a pragmatic decision in regards to the layout. To make the project more readable I used colours and different textures corresponding to different spatial systems and actors. The sections were used to give the project a legitimacy as a construction. But more over I used them together with the zooms to highlight the formal and architectural language, which is less readable in the axonometry. Finally I created the perspective views to engage first in an atmospheric discussion. But moreover it was important to create a spatial depth and an impression of the sublime landscape.


If you could develop a unique format which would tie everything together. what would that be? How could the format help in addressing and developing yet another medium?

This would definitely be the three collages. They tie up together the whole project. They tell the narrative of the Bosphorus, with all its diversity and monumentality. The collages let the viewer read the three prototypes as a trilogy without any hierarchy nor priority. There could be a hundred collages more, and none of them would be the same. The fascinating thing is that even though they are not precise at all, they tell you more than all the other drawings.

I think finally we as architects shouldn’t be so obsessed by details. We could tell the same story in a more abstract way and leave some of the imagination to the viewer. I believe these collages let you explore the project in a nice way.

How did you define the material used to compose the collages? 

The material for the collages come mainly from Ottoman, Byzantine and Persian miniatures. Miniatures are paintings of the Ottoman book arts. I selected buildings, textures and elements, cut them out, rearranged them and built up the collages. It was a very intuitive way of working, without no plans and no ideas of how this could look like in the end.


Derya Sancar is a young architect from Switzerland. Currently he is living in Lausanne. He graduated 2016 at the EPFL; he did his master thesis under the direction of Harry Gugger, Luca Pattaroni, Francois Charbonnet and Barbara Costa.


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