Kamil Abdus Waterfront Design

Location:Tuzla, Istanbul
Site:270,740 m²
Client:Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Tuzla Kamil Abdus Lagoon is one of the few lagoons in Istanbul; In 1978, when the mouth of the lagoon was blocked by the construction of the Tuzla Shipyard and the bed of the Umur stream, which provided fresh water intake, was changed, the ecological values of the river rapidly declined. Thus, once upon a lagoon became a lake. Today, as a lake filled only by seawater, it struggles to survive. The project seeks to rehabilitate the Kamil Abdus by bringing fresh and salty water together as in the previous periods. It also aims to design a city park for meeting the recreational needs of urbanites.  The design process has started with an intense GIS and modeling of the ecology on the side, followed by the analysis of the socio-economic structure shaping the surroundings.  The design strategy threefolds: managing water, enhancing diversity, and promoting identity.

The following threats undermine the site ecology and pollute the lake and groundwater in Kamil Abduş: the Tuzla industrial zone on the east, the pesticides used in agricultural activities on the north, rapid and unsustainable growth of the town of Tuzla since 2000s, and the lack of any means to provide fresh water to the lake. The juxtaposition of social and ecological dynamics yields nine distinct socio-ecological zones in the project area.  These parts make the whole through water, biodiversity, and art objects made from recycled steel. Bringing fresh water to the lake is an utmost priority to restore the ecological quality. Three major strategies include:  Using reclaimed water from the water treatment facility, improving the quality of such water through a constructed wetland, and finally releasing purified water to the lake as a primary source of freshwater; utilizing different rainwater harvesting techniques on the site, and allowing water penetration directly to the aquifer by using permeable pavement materials. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity on site is also at the center of the design. Planting design approach proposes the enhancement of maqui vegetation to support the viability of the hundred years old Pistachia lentiscus forest.  Planting palette primarily includes native species that attract wildlife. Planting schemes in the habitat islands are specially designed to suit the nesting and feeding of migrating birds. Poles, birdhouses, insect houses, and some feeding units are designed. Layers of past utilization of the site make an exciting input to the design. The industrial silhouette of one of the biggest shipyard in Türkiye was evaluated positively in terms of silhouette effect rather than seeing it environmentally unpleasant enterprise.

We use reclaimed water from the adjacent treatment facility to further improve the quality of water through phytoremediation.  We design a constructed wetland for this process which will supply fresh water to the lake to re-establish lagoon qualities.  Other novel approaches in our design include rainwater harvesting and supporting permeability throughout the site.

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