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shed & market - a subtle ephemeral landscape
kiran balakrishna 
// master of architecture // georgia tech, atlanta
anushritha yernool sunil // master in industrial design //pratt institute, nyc

Today’s social groups have multiple identities and values systems – weak ethics and strong aesthetics – ephemeral compromises and soft solidarities. Every one of us belongs to multiple communities and social groups with whom we share common values and ideas, tastes, political perspectives, religious congregations, cultural associations, food societies, and so on. Daily interactions take place on specific architectural platforms. These diverse and social ethnoscapes strengthen our capacity to connect. We celebrate these singularities and conflicts to explore strategies of contestation, re-appropriation, and network-making.

While some communities vanish and their common spaces are abandoned, others emerge and demand new spaces to inhabit. We aim to track these congregational architectures in the process of disappearance and propose a new dialogue with them based on the emerging dynamics of social interactivity.

We interrogate the thin line between protection and destruction, preservation, and progress; our projects claim that inhabiting involves not only construction but also adaptation; not only enlargement but also dismantling; not only discarding but also reusing, reducing and refurbishing.

The commercial spaces were the main nodes for socialization and communication. Due to the location of Turkish empires along the Silk Road, Turks must have been involved in the various aspects of commercial activity along that route. The covered bazaars were the main public spaces “elements” of the Middle Eastern cities, so they had effects on the experiences of the citizens and memory of the cities. But due to changing urban landscapes, current shopping malls lack this sense of place and a unique identity to create these memories. Thus, this design is an attempt to deconstruct a journey between old and new memories, giving us a successful contemporary typology that integrates traditional spatial features with new elements to become new areas of social and physical attractions.

Can the market act as a mobile social plug-in, an ephemeral interface?

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Istanbul is located at the threshold, between the east and the west. The market thus is an exploration and extension of the experience of transition. Gates, colonnades, staircases, balconies, and windows. These thresholds and spaces of transition become places in their turn. In this market community, this tension is explored between the old and new, temporary and permanent, traditional practices and new technology, nodes and spontaneity, old and new materials.

The access ways to the Grand Bazaar were usually local roads, which have easy access for pedestrians. The bazaar is connected to the outside by its covered streets. Therefore, a similar sense of continuity is created as a result of the pedestrian experience. Efficient nodes and landmarks are located throughout the market to provide a sense of order and direction to the visitors that lacks in today’s malls. Nodes like traditional spatial experiences like Hans (courtyards), bedestans (shopping streets) with varying volumes are laid out. The existing metro entrances also fall along with these nodes.


primary circulation

permanent structures 


structural grids

urban farm spaces


temporary shops

transient circulation


final unified bazaar

Due to the evolving urban experience, this tension is further highlighted with the market community divided into 3 zones:

The Pursuit: The market revolves around a 4mx4m grid system that is encased in a steel framework. These grids form the temporary market platforms. Thus each shop or vendor wagon is a plug-in that varies with changing needs and time. Some grids at the lower levels also can be moved to act as mobile markets that can be taken to different parts of the city. During the night these shops can be taken down to act as shelter spaces, arts and crafts workshops, and storage spaces. They can also behave as temporary studios for artists. This flexible system changes its landscape with each person’s pursuit of life.

The Muse: Additional spaces that are placed at the nodes are entertainment opportunities such as a theatre, exhibition and gallery rooms, or an amphitheater. These spaces form an important interface for social interactions forming a unique food community like the traditional bazaars engaged in.

The Community: With evolving technologies and requirements, to create a sustainable environment, certain grids are allocated as collection boxes. These spaces are meant to collect organic waste and leftovers from the market and the outside world which is then used for urban farming on green patches provided at a certain location close to the restaurants and cafes. Thus, by using the produce from the patches in the cafes, the continuous cycle of consumption is achieved. Waste is managed in this manner, and the green patches keep this market cooler and provided adequate shade. To sustain this community, studio apartments are also built on the upper levels. Community kitchens and Turkish baths are also located to engage in traditional practices.

As mentioned earlier, a major portion of the market comprises of the temporary and ever-changing grid system. Therefore, creating a scenario where a minimum of these grids being empty or absent on no market days, we are left with the permanent, the nodes, and transition paths. These transition elements stand as a fixed installation that is viewed as an important landmark of Istanbul. People using the metro station thus walk through this installation imagining the temporal memory that constantly disappears and reappears highlighting the transition.

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