Kuleli Military High School Waterfront

Location:Cengelkoy, Uskudar, Istanbul
Site:4,936 m²
Client:Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Kuleli Military School building is the most exquisite structure on the Bosphorus of Istanbul, with a fascinating night appearance. During the mid-Ottoman Period, the building was erected as a military barrack with dominant tower structure, however, these towers and the building were burnt constantly in the history.  The current building is constructed based on its precedents in 1862-1863 by the order of Sultan Abdulaziz, though the towers were burnt again thus leaving the building with no towers for almost a hundred years.  During the Republican era, the building continued to serve as a military school.  The school utilized its coastal front for many sea activities such as swimming, canoeing, water polo tournaments, etc.  Also, many outsiders used the area for watching the sea and fishing.  Thus, the relationship between the military school and its users had always been very intimate with the sea and its coast. This strong interaction has not been destroyed by even the construction of the vehicle road connecting settlements along Bosphorus in the 1970s.  However, nowadays the coastal front with only a 3m. the wide concrete sidewalk is not enough to carry heavy coastal usages such as fishing, sea watching, relaxing, walking and jogging.  The purpose of this project is to bring order to the Kuleli Coastal front to fit the needs of users without destroying the strong relationship of the place with the sea. Subsequently, a system of steps that will host different user groups is proposed.  In order to emphasize the history of the site, a history line is created on the pavement.  Also, the old coastal line is represented by different pavement textures. On the north of the project site, large blocks of granite stones are organized to provide some seating and standing alternatives at different heights. Kuleli coastal design is a placemaking effort that can set an example to other settlements along the unique Bosphorus landscape. 

Our project for the Kuleli coast promotes a resilient waterfront design.  The daily and seasonal water fluctuations and the projected sea-level rise scenarios guide subtle design interventions. The intimate relationship of the historic building with the coastal line is preserved with a proper scale and style.

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