The project site holds an important role in the history of Eskisehir and the development of its identity. By virtue of their historical roles, the three foci (Aviation Hospital, Stadium, and Mechanical School) on the site enhance the presence of an almost tangible spirit belonging the place. The present activities on the site create a social focus for the city and provides a potential meeting/social clash zone for the citizens of Eskisehir.
The relocating of the stadium will inevitably begin a series of changes in the way the site is experienced. Any attempt to control these “changes” has to assess the site’s historical identity and its present social condition, and project a vitalizing vision for its future. In this sense, the site can be read as a multi-layered context simultaneously linked to the past, the present, and the future. The proposal is based on an interpretation of the simultaneity of these individual expressions. In this respect, the design is built on three inter-related layers that refer to the past, present and the future of the site.
LAYER 1: "PAST"
The site is characterized by three main programs that are located on three sections:
(1) The first Aviation Hospital of Turkey (built:1939), designed in the blueprint of an aeroplane. The building is currently used as Eskisehir Military Hospital.
(2) Eskisehir Atatürk Stadium (built:1952), which has become the identity of the popular local football club, and a busy area of social convention and expression.
(3) Atatürk Vocational School, reflecting the high ideals of the early republic and underlining the importance of vocational training for the prosperity of the nation.
The design scheme suggests preserving these three structures, but enhances them through public intervention and additional functions. In this respect, the Hospital is re-programmed as Civilian Aviation Center, the famous ES-ES tribune as Eskisehirspor Museum and Social Center, and the Vocational School as a 24hr educational facility for the residents of Eskisehir.
C. Memory Lane
The historical identity of the site and the its unique spirit will be observed via an elevated “memory lane” overlooking the context from distance. This pedestrian zone links the three pieces of land on the site and unifies the experience. The memory lane turns the site to an open-air museum, and makes the superimposition of the historical identity, present activities and future potentials observable for the users.
LAYER 2: “PRESENT”
The site is connected to a considerable density of cultural-educational uses on its southern section. The various public uses in the zone create a density strong enough to define a pedestrian axes that connect to administrational functions on east, cultural and educational functions on south, and recreational uses on north-northeast directions. The pedestrian traffic, currently dispersed on the borders of the site, can be relocated to create a “shortcut” that begins with the museum of archeology on the southwest and ends in the direction of the Porsuk River (the banks of which are the main recreational zones of Eskisehir) on northeast. The shortcut is intended to increase the exposition of the activities going on in the site, encourage participation, and offer a more enjoyable and practical alternative to walking on the borders.
LAYER 3: "FUTURE"
A considerable proportion of the population of Eskisehir comprises of students and young people, creating a social impact during education seasons. In addition, there is a sustainable socio-cultural life present in the city that covers a range of different groups. Keeping this variety and dynamism in mind, the most valuable contribution of an intervention in the site to the city would be to provide transformable spaces that are not pre-loaded with programs. In this respect, the design proposes un-programmed zones for free-construction of modular pavilions along a north-south axis. It is expected that the pavilions will be transformed according to the changing needs and emerging programs, ensuring the contextual consistency of the project with the city in large.
The multi-layered fabric and the superimpositions on the site aim to enhance the present specific programs on the site with spontaneous new activities, and thus emphasize the site’s potential to generate alternative spaces and stay up-to-date. To provide an origin, the 10 pavilions illustrated in the project presentations house the following activities: demonstrating, enjoying a meal, playing music, watching movies in the open, writing, having fun time in water, skating, growing vegetables, displaying city culture, and watching the city. On the other hand, the ultimate goal of the project is to enable a pool of possibilities without borders:
Singing, reading on grass, chatting, walking to music, cycling, exercising, sleeping, watching the rain, viewing an exhibition, participating in educational activities, taking initiative, cooking, staying in shadow in a sunny day, gathering without fear, strolling around ateliers, skateboarding, skating, walking, enjoying the view, playing music, commemorating, playing chess, building models, bungee-jumping, reading on stairs, rebelling, dancing, starting a band, partying, refuging, joining a theater, painting, watching the stars, giving a concert, singing up for a snowball fight, growing up, meeting people, just playing, learning to use the computer, hosting others, observing birds, growing endemic plants, killing time, commemorating the past, learning carpentry, selling tickets, making oneself heard, practicing yoga, flying kites…
Location: Eskisehir, Turkey
Program: Park + Recreation
Client: Eskisehir Chamber of Architects (National Competition)
Partners in Charge: Onur Ozkoc, Heves Beseli
Design Team: Hakan Sanli, Damla Ece Erdem, Burak Donmez, Mustafa Eren Buk, Elcin Akyol