Exhibition Venue Partner: Sishane Park

The Moving Museum will host the Exhibition in Sishane Park: GalataKapı.


Public Realm Design as Amplifier for Culture

Urban Curator’s Statement

Şişhane Park is a unique signature infrastructure, landscape urbanism and architecture project for Istanbul’s Greater Municipality. It is a piece of the city situated between the historic district of Galata and the six lane Tarlabaşı Boulevard. It is both a public park and a parking structure for 1,000 cars. The public park is flush with the city’s steep terrain with a direct connection to the Şişhane Metro station and the parking structure extends six levels underground. Şişhane Park and Park Turk is a public private partnership where IBB is the property owner and Park Turk is the parking operator for 30 years.

Designing a piece of the city is always bound to a notion of creating public space. The newly created ‘piece of the city’ will inevitably touch public space, it will include persons of civic society and it will foster program that adds variety in civil life. For a city like Istanbul Şişhane Park, from its conception, was designed to push all these notions of public engagement into new horizons. This includes possibilities for extending the realm for public space as well as be a model in ways urban infrastructure projects can be transformative projects for pluralistic creative social culture(s) to flourish.

Early principles in the spatial design included: continuous walkways with no dead-ends, a perch to enjoy the city’s reckless beauty and unique geography, botanical environments for species of specific colors, fragrant and seasonal affect and to facilitate a multi-nodal transit hub at the periphery of historic Galata district. Neither the programming of the public realm nor the programming of the parking should in anyway compromise these principles, public access, commissioned works or park’s creature comfort services.

The contemporary design of the park and parking have been underpinned by creating a public experience that fosters the uniqueness of Istanbul’s contemporary urban cultures as well as embrace open and expressive media and multi-disciplinary platforms in creative social culture. With these two priorities underpinning the public realm programming, three specific themes have emerged to guide the curators over the course of 30 years in commissioning creative works/events/social-life services: 1) storytelling, 2) food, and 3) design with nature.

The curator’s annual programming as well as an ‘everyday’ public realm manager will co-lead the public realm programming. The public realm manager will specifically support the locality and its cultures, manage the appropriate services for creating a comfortable public realm and transit hub and be the point of contact for spontaneous or planned activities. The parking area will be treated as an extension of the public realm, but can also operate with commercial events and programming.

The park is proposed to be operated by the GalataKapı a non-profit non-government organization (dernek) that has board members representing the different stakeholders: IBB, BB, Park Turk, GalataKapı, SANAL and 2-3 community representatives. The public realm manager will be the general manager of the Galata Kapi Dernegi.

For the opening of the public space a series of creative social works are anticipated from writers, historians, illustrators, designers, software designers, artists and local businesses.

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