Advanced Design Studio: Hadid

Hadid: Turkey

Cultural Park Istanbul


Design and Visualization




Patrick Shumacher

The underlying thesis here is that our contemporary network society and knowledge economy make the intensification of communication the key criterion of societal success. This implies that the built environment has to function as an ordering structure and interface of communication. This challenge is paradigmatically posed with the task of designing dense cultural communication sites with multiple venues and audiences that facilitate creative synergies between related institutions. The requirement to function as interface of communication demands that the rich diversity of communicative interaction scenarios and their complex orchestration can be made manifest within a highly articulate built environment that is legible and navigable despite its density, diversity and complexity. To achieve this, a versatile and coherent architectural morphology needs to be developed.

In view of developing such a morphological system the design studio will experiment with shell structures, tensile structures and their combination. Shell morphologies have the advantage of making spatial unities legible even if complexity builds up through clustering, nesting, and interpenetrations.

We will employ methods of structural form-finding via digital and material computing, i.e. we engage in extended model making and proto-typing exercises to build up a rich and rigorous repertoire of structural forms. This also includes the treatment of shells with perforations and rib-formations. Tensile structures include cable nets as well as fabrics. Here too articulation in relation to global form is important.

The design research will move from single convex shells to clusters and fields of multiple shells. A special interest for us is the combination of shells with tensile structures as well as the combination of compression and tension surfaces within an integral surface structure.

The aim of these investigations and form finding experiments is to build up a rich and coherent architectural morphology that offers a differentiated repertoire of articulation, and a rich set of formal distinctions that might be used to build up a systematic system of signification. The semantic content of this system will be delivered by the programme of the cultural park that will include visual art institutions as well as various performing arts venues, libraries, conferencing facilities as well as various sport venues. As site we have chosen a prominent waterfront site on the Asian side at the mouth of the Bosphorous.