The studios will help masterplan the rebuild of the Turkish province, which was heavily damaged by the earthquake, as part of a consortium led by Turkey Design Council, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to developing the country socially and economically through design.
“Following the earthquake, we experienced the biggest ever global cooperation for the relief effort,” said Turkey Design Council chairman Mehmet Kalyoncu.
“Now, we want this to be the biggest-ever global collaboration of experts to shape the next era of Hatay.”
Project aims to be “an example for the world”
On 6 February, a 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, causing the collapse of thousands of buildings and claiming the lives of more than 55,000 people across the two countries.
In Turkey, the scale of damage is widely believed to have been exacerbated by poor construction caused, in part, by a disregard for legislation.
The focus for Turkey Design Council’s rebuild with Foster + Partners and BIG is currently on the Hatay province in the southeast. At the heart of the proposal will be a masterplan for the city of Antakya, 80 per cent of which was destroyed during the event.
It will aim to ensure the longevity of the region in the future while also preserving its heritage.
“This is the first step towards Hatay’s next chapter and with the support of our project partners we can ensure it becomes an example for the world of design-led revitalisation,” said Kalyoncu.
Foster + Partners to lead masterplan
The team behind the masterplan for Hatay is set to be led by Foster + Partners.
“We are looking forward to working with local communities and collaborating with architecture, planning, urban design and engineering experts in Turkey, to help develop plans for the historic city of Antakya,” said Foster + Partners’ senior executive Nigel Dancey.
The masterplan will focus specifically on “the restoration of important sites” including churches, mosques, bathhouses and synagogues, the team said. It is expected to be revealed fully in 2024.
“This design aims to preserve Hatay’s unique identity, while making it resilient to earthquake risks,” added Bünyamin Derman of DB Architects.
“We are trying to achieve a master plan that will enable the residents of Hatay, who migrated after the earthquake, to return to their homeland,” added Derman.
While specific details of the masterplan are yet to be disclosed, Derman said new buildings will be constructed from a range of wood, steel, and reinforced concrete.
It will also draw on courtyard-house typology in Antakya and include “a historical and cultural tour route” to celebrate the region’s history, he added.
“Our ambition is to place collaboration in the centre”
While helping Turkey to recover from the February earthquakes, Turkey Design Council’s ambition for the project is also to offer a model from which other countries can learn when rebuilding after disasters.
“If we are successful in Hatay, we can integrate this spirit of collaboration into other Turkish and international recovery and revitalisation efforts where local people most need them,” chairman Kalyoncu said.
“Hatay will become a global exemplar for earthquake recovery, taking best practice principles from around the world and applying them to its unique context.”
Kalyoncu also hopes it will also demonstrate the value of collaboration in design.
“Our ambition is to place collaboration in the centre of our post-disaster reconstruction efforts,” he said.
“We are in a specialisation era in all aspects of life, and this brings loneliness and fragmentation which makes us, our society, city and world weak against any problems or risks,” Kalyoncu continued.
“We think that we can overcome this problem by collaborating with each other, person to person, group to group, city to city and country to country.”
Foster + Partners has been working with the Turkish Design Council since March 2023 to help set out guidelines for the urgent construction of temporary housing developments.
Elsewhere, the studio’s founder British architect Norman Foster is also helping to develop the masterplan for the rejuvenation of Kharkiv following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Foster said he wanted “to assemble the best minds” to rebuild the Ukrainian city.
Earlier this year, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban used his Paper Partition System to create cardboard shelters for victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake.
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