the collaborative team of dror and gensler has won an invited competition to masterplan ‘galataport’, a prominent bosphorus-adjacent site at the heart of istanbul. situated across from the old city, the 110,000 square meter-area features two important quays and boasts a cluster of landmarks such as the istanbul modern, the city’s contemporary art museum. currently, a significant portion of the 1.2 kilometer-long boardwalk hosts an active cruise terminal and remains closed off to pedestrians.


animation courtesy of dror + gensler and BEA
renders are illustrative and indicate the masterplan massing only

 

 

dror and gensler’s masterplan, which broke ground in 2016, opens the stretch of coastline for public use through ‘the world’s first underground cruise operation’. to develop the pioneering terminal, the team worked alongside miami firm BEA to invent a hydraulic boardwalk and gangway system. as a result, the operation’s complex logistics all take place underground.


a pedestrianized neighborhood harmonizes with the city’s existing urban fabric
image courtesy of dror + gensler

 

 

when a ship docks, the boardwalk hatch opens and transforms into a perimeter wall that secures the area,’ explain the designers. ‘a gangway rises to meet the ship doors and transports passengers to the underground terminal levels. this innovative system reduces the cruise operation’s ground-level footprint to a 3.5 meter-wide strip of land that’s only in use when and where ships are docked, freeing over 60,000 square meters of accessible waterfront.’


the masterplan opens the stretch of coastline for public use
image courtesy of dror + gensler

 

 

above ground, the team has conceived a pedestrianized neighborhood designed to ‘harmonize with the city’s existing urban fabric’. the site will be activated through a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, cultural attractions, and offices. walkways are used to connect the new neighborhood, while greenery and vegetation has been applied throughout.


the site’s existing condition
image courtesy of bilgili holding

 

 

small, pixel-like buildings flank intimate streets and step down in scale towards the waterfront, creating opportunities for rooftop terraces with beautiful views at every level,’ continues the team. ‘large, open plazas respect standing monuments and facilitate moments of reflection and discovery.’


site context (click to enlarge)
image courtesy of dror + gensler


masterplan (click to enlarge)
image courtesy of dror + gensler


section (click to enlarge)
image courtesy of dror + gensler

 

 

project info:

 

name: galataport
location: istanbul, turkey
program: 350,000 sqm cruise terminal, retail, office, public spaces
client: doğuş holding, bilgili holding
type: awarded commission
status: on-going
date: 2013
partners: gensler, BEA, norm architects

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