Ihsaniye Spring Water

Location:Uskudar, Istanbul
Site:45,000 m²
Client:ISKI / Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration

Çamlıca hill enables viewing of the most spectacular silhouette of Istanbul; therefore, Çamlıca has become one of the most acclaimed recreation areas of the city in the past and today. The slopes of the Çamlıca contain the most vital water resources of Istanbul, called Ihsaniye waters. Due to the geological structure of the region, İhsaniye has the tastiest and highest quality waters of Istanbul. The steep topography of the site presents a remarkable panorama of a green valley rolling down towards the dense urban fabric. At the same time, it allows water to travel through the landscape and compile at the bottom of the hill. Thus the present project uses these inputs in designing socially inclusive urban green space. Activities on the multi-layered viewing terraces bring people together while at the same time, these raised structures allow the natural water to proceed through the landscape. The program of the site mainly includes enjoying the valley, socializing in different pockets of seating areas as well as strolling along the paths in an arboretum setting. The site will also be a modest setting for seasonal festivals and art performances facilitated by the green steps gently rolling with the site’s topography. Diverse water harvesting techniques take place in design to ensure the viability of this heritage urban water for future generations to enjoy.

The site has a 40-meter elevation difference. The Project promotes equity by creating a space for both the higher socioeconomic group occupying the upper elevations and the lower socio-economic group living on lower elevations.

Steel and wood construction raised walking paths and terraces bestow the vista of the valley while also allowing the water flow on the site. A multi-layered terrace design facilitates socializing as well as observation of diverse flora and fauna on the site.

Traditional masonry walls, exquisitely graded terraces, diverse shrub cover, and White Poplar trees stand out as traditional landscape elements.

A water retention pond serves to water management on the site. It is an enjoyable feature for human beings as well as a habitat for aquatic and amphibian species. Green steps located downslope from the pond propose a space for seating and transition to the city at the lowest elevation.

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