Have you ever been to Istanbul? It’s a beautiful city, and as the gateway between Asia and Europe, it manages to blend east and west in such away that it becomes one of your most unforgettable destinations, filled with Byzantine marvels, like the Hagia Sophia and glorious ancient sites like Basilica Cistern. Unfortunately, while Istanbul is an amazing city, rampant urbanization has drastically shrunk the amount of per capita green space there. The green area ratio is only 6.4 square meters per person in Istanbul. To get an idea of where that stands, in Europe, the average green area ratio is around 20 square meters per person.
Dror, the New York-based design studio helmed by Dror Benshetrit, has proposed a solution to this issue in the form of Parkorman, a park located six miles north of the city center. According to the folks at Dror, “Our park starts with familiar urban forms and slowly transitions into surprising organic moments deeper inside the forest.” Visitors create their own story when entering Parkorman.
The park is divided into five different zones meant to evoke different feelings. The Plaza greets visitors at the entrance, transforming nature into a place to meet and gather. The Loop features a number of swings and hammocks to relax, spark joy and sway above the forest. The Pool consists of giant ball pits drawn from Turkish spice markets that just want you to dive in and have fun. The chords bring together a footpath that sends you to giant trampolines above the ground. There’s also The Grove, a winding, maze-like trail that has sculptures along the way, and a The Fountain of Charity, a cube-shaped water feature that shoots water from all sides.
So now, not only will Istanbul get more green space, it will get a park that brings out the true joys of nature, creating moments of “transition, clarity, imagination, playfulness, reflection and observation.”
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