The urban fabric of a city is ever-changing either to promote or acknowledge history or deviate a path entirely different. The need to revive a once important street that merged both north and south of the Odunpazan district of the Eskisehir city was of necessity and of premium importance to its different stakeholders ranging from the planning authorities to urban planners, designers, historic community, traders, and host people. The case of Hamamyolu Urban Deck, situated in the Odunpazarı district of Eskisehir city of Turkey, is no different from the former of acknowledging and promoting historic cultural features. 

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet1
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek

Yazgan Design Architecture, was contracted to plan and execute the landscape transformation of the Hamamyolu Street which is about 1.2 km long featuring the Porsuk River on the north and Odunpazarı on the south. It was designed in 2016 and completed in 2018. 

Discussed below are important pointers on how the Hamamyolu Urban Deck was designed, the creativity involved in execution, and the use of materiality in the project. The project serves as a good reference for how sustainability can play a role in the urban fabric of a city.

Design 

From the inception of the project, the Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture was to input community participation, alongside local district authorities as a vital component of the design planning. 

A critical analysis of Hamamyolu Street included: hardscape and softscape, adjoining streets, buildings on both sides, and trading activities. These analyses aid in the conceptualization of the Urban Deck to revitalize its historical, natural, and futuristic potential. 

One of the design parameters was to create an uninterrupted urban deck along the axis using varying macro to micro details. The urban deck axis transports visitors horizontally through the existing cityscape, but also vertically with various overpasses, underpasses, ramps, platforms, pools, and seating areas. Thus providing a different perspective in experiencing the urban fabric of the city, another design parameter of the Hamamyolu urban deck was to provide a serene, recreation environment, featuring different playgrounds with three-dimensional elements for various age groups.

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet2
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek

These parameters led to the dividing of the urban deck into zones that house various activities, and uniquely inspired themes. The axis planform and execution result from the existing vegetation that is the trees giving the urban deck a zigzag pattern. The Hamamyolu urban deck’s connection from the Hicri park to its environment has seen the restoration of existing passages emphasized with glass ornaments and the recyclable wooden flooring to highlight the streets in the Alaaddin Park, this helps Hamamyolu, as it is internationally known for its Glass, works festival and Wooden Sculpture festival, and has achieved interaction of north and south of the Odunpazan district of the city for which the project aims to solve. 

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet3
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek

One of the zones named Café plays host to different cafés on the urban deck from the square, under bridge, and platform café, with their varying forms the roofs serve as an area for seating and movement, increasing the overall outdoor seating area and aiding interaction of people.

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet4
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek

The play area has been meticulously designed to host a variety of age groups. Water is important in Hamamyolu based on its history, which informs why there are different forms of pools such as the bowl pigeon pool, stone pools, and steam pool, and these lead to the playground. Connecting all of these zones is a continuous water element.

In the planning, everything about the Hamamyolu context was accounted for, leading to surprise popups of objects, events, and entertainment.

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet5
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_©Soner Şimşek

Materials/ Construction

Hand-crafted glasses were embedded into the ground and hung on the existing trees. Designated spaces consisting of natural wood elements, lush green landscape elements, water features, and ample seating areas created a modern and vibrant meeting space that promotes movement on the urban deck.

Lighting elements were designed for the urban deck. Bronze stainless steel plates are hung in the existing trees, to reflect the spotlights located at the base. Street lights were also designed to be used in the parking lot for illumination.

Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek

Sustainability

Sustainability should be encouraged especially in landscape design because individuals, animals, and nature interact in the environment. When such is executed that makes use of community participation, local or recycled materials, an award was not far-reaching to encourage the initiative and so was the scenario with the Hamamyolu Urban Deck designed by Yazgan Design Architecture, it received an award from the World Architecture Community. 

With its many architectural and landscape elements, explicit planning, material usage, and execution, the Hamamyolu Urban Deck breathes new life into an otherwise forgotten street in the Odunpazarı District of Eskişehir, Turkey by creating a new urban landscape.

Hamamyolu Urban Deck proves that the urban fabric of the city is ever-evolving and like an artist’s blank canvas, the urban space serves as an opportunity for the architect to tell a captivating story of its history, present, and future.

Hamamyolu Urban Deck by Yazgan Design Architecture - Sheet7
Hamamyolu_Urban_Deck_© Soner Şimşek
References:
  1. https://landezine.com/hamamyolu-urban-deck-by-yazgan/ [Accessed: 2 May, 2022]
  2. https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-projects/hpvgg/hamamyolu_urban_deck-project-pages.html [Accessed 2 May, 2022] 
  3. https://archello.com/project/hamamyolu-urban-deck [Accessed 2 May, 2022]
Author

Victory Udoh-King is an Architecture creative by profession. She is interested in the built environment, and also in the becoming of an architect best suited for the challenges arising from an evolving world. She loves contemporary jazz and architecture shows.

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