The municipality of Arnavutköy, located in the northwest of Istanbul, harbours the ambition to design a sustainable development plan and define pilot projects that can be elaborated in the short term. In association with the municipality, Architecture Workroom Brussels and the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam set up an atelier to guide this process.




Arnavutköy is a region of great ecological value due to its many drinking water basins, forests and agricultural areas. However, since the Nineties, these valuable areas have been under threat from explosive population growth of no less than 400%. Turkey's President Erdogan also launched a number of grand plans that could transform Arnavutköy into an important urban centre on the European side of Istanbul. The new planned urbanisation within the existing overarching plan makes it difficult for the local municipality to reconcile further growth with the ecologically valuable areas. The region faces a huge challenge to develop a strategic vision within the master plan that introduces new principles for managing urban growth.

Atelier Istanbul was coordinated by Joachim Declerck, co-curator of the 5th IABR, and local curator Asu Aksoy. They also worked closely with the other members of the Curator Team. The Brussels architecture firm 51N4E and Dutch landscape architects H+N+S were invited to perform the research by design for the atelier, and a local team was put together in the municipality to work on the related questions. By linking the expertise of these local actors to that of foreign studies the atelier was able to take the first steps towards a Strategic Vision and Spatial Development and Action Plan for Arnavutköy.

Architecture Workroom Brussels led the different phases of the atelier. A strategic development plan was compiled (an integrated vision that provided an idea of the future development of the municipality of Arnavutköy), an action plan was formulated (a guide that helps transform this vision into specific projects), and a mission description was drafted for pilot projects.



Type: research and exhibition