As the most significant public promenade in Turkey, Taksim Square has been the epicenter of several historic and cultural events since its formalized demarcation in the mid 1940’s. Considered the heart of modern Istanbul, the square has evolved into a significant tourist and leisure district; an activated hub supported by restaurants, shops, hotels and the central station for the Istanbul Metro network. However, several regions within the square lack cultural and social programming or suffer from isolation and mobility barriers that contribute to a disconnect within the square and the city as a whole.
This proposal for Taksim Square offers a blend of the past & present, inviting questions about its history, identity and evolution, which are captured in the collective urban and social memory. The design envisions the urban revitalization of Taksim Square as a collection of emotive spaces; experiential incubators that will link new memories to the past and utilize cultural motif as a way to embed memory into the infrastructure, artifacts and ecology of this diverse environment. Though much of the Taksim’s history resides below the surface, its significance is ever-present, and these moments guide the design approach.