New York firm Dror today unveiled designs for a collosal artificial island to be created right off the coast of Turkey, not far from Istanbul. The project, dubbed HavvAda, is envisioned to rise from the sea by piling up one billion cubic meter of soil carved out of the main land from the construction of the proposed Canal Istanbul, another ambitious mega project currently proposed to run parallel to the Bosporus. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller, six gigantic geodesic domes will lift up artificial hills on the island which will be covered with residences and commercial buildings for a population of several hundred thousand people.
Find a detailed project description and images courtesy of Dror below.
A century after the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presents the Canal Istanbul project and offers to re-visit the map of the city. One billion cubic meter of soil may be carved out of the main land in order to create the canal. Turkish developer, Mister Serdar Inan, proposes to reconstitute the soil to create an island off the shore of Istanbul and a home for a new community. Mister Inan commissions New York based designer Dror Benshetrit to draw his vision for the project; one that blends innovative design ideas, state of the art technology and cultural legacy with inspirations from the work of chief Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
Like the Nurai Island in 2008, this project came to Dror as the most-unexpected chance to investigate the idea of the living environment at a scale his mind had never touched before. Dror chose to look at the intimidating project as an opportunity to think about urban design and the life of a community. He spearheaded a reflection group to explore ideas. The team of experts included the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Buro Happold, Shoji Sadao from Fuller, Sadao & Zung Architects. Six months of rich interdisciplinary dialogs have allowed him to draw a radical urban design vision that aims to make the island a home for a new community with the highest quality of life and a positive environmental impact. Dror's vision for HavvAda is one that raises question rather than one that intends to bring answers.
The vision unveiled in Istanbul on September 29, results from Dror's fascination for structure and spatial geometry. With HavvAda, he stretches physics principals that he has long investigated such as the Quadror geometry. He offers to revisit concepts and ideas for urban environment, such as urban design theories, including the Garden City by Ebenezer Howard and studies of Buckminster Fuller's legacy in structural engineering. Today, Dror has drawn a landscape that will keep adapting to the dynamics of the site.
A green island made of 6 hills of different sizes circling the downtown center of the land. Each hill up rises on top of a mega structural sphere that supports the residences on the hillsides and a community life at the center. The diameter of the island is 3 km long with a 1 km diameter valley in the center.
Each hill is drawn as a mega-dome structure inspired by engineering and structural principals studied and implemented in architecture since ancient times and further developed as a geodesic dome in the last century by Buckminster Fuller.
The design proposed for most of the island relies on compression and tensional integrity; it maximizes the material utilized to build the structure and infra-structure of the island. The urban planning optimizes the slopes of the hills and their panoramic view on each side for greater residential areas.
Traditionally, communities have built their residential areas around the center of the town where political decisions or trade was made, and spiritual and religious temples were built—the community would grow around those centers with extended skirts of residence buildings and neighborhoods. The center valley of the island offers ideal space and planning for parks and recreation centers. Some of the buildings are covered with green living-roof. They fade in the natural environment in an organic way, while contributing to the constant energy recycling of the island.
A vision for a new (infra)-structural grid:
Can a 3d urban grid allow better performance?
The vision for HavvAda proposes to expend the urban grid model to a new dimensionality. Conventional building construction requires major subterranean structures. This has long raised environmental concerns. Dror explores design ideas for a new mega structural system that aims to maximize energy and structural efficiency.
The buildings become horizontal—circling the hills at different levels. They are all connected to one another and grounded at the peripheral base of the hill.
Dror's vision for HavvAda explores the consistency of principles in geometry and physic at any scale
Dror has long been fascinated by the intrinsic connections between geometry and physics and the principles involving the two. The entire design vision for HavvAda revolves around two geometrical forms and their structural principles: the sphere and the triangle. When investigating both the quadror geometry and the geodesic dome of Buckminster Fuller, Dror and his team started to identify structural efficiency in the combination of both. The two geometric systems present unique structural advantages and become exponent to one another when combined. These geometrical principles are implemented in the design vision for HavvAda; linking altogether the master grid, the urban planning, the transportation grid and the structural support systems of the buildings.
The hills result from the structural net covering the domes. The residential buildings are connected to one another through this structural net. Each building is supported and plugged to the triangular structure of the geodesic dome; using the QuaDror system for their individual support.
QuaDror is a structural support system and a design innovation that Dror's studio has developed and unveiled a year ago. It implements the forces and the efficiency of the triangle geometry in its 4 lateral sides. These allow for very strong and light building with glass walls and maximum light.
The geodesic domes and the structural mesh upon them combine tension and compression for maximum structural efficiency. The domes are mega-structures ranging from 230 meters to 400 meters. The mega-mesh structures are very strong and light-weighted volumes that contribute to the infrastructural grid of the island. Dror proposes to envision an energy recycling system that would be integrated within each mega structure and redistributes the energy throughout the hill.
Do the technological tools available today allow for us to build a net-positive eco-system?
The design intention is to create a manifold eco-system that allows for a net-positive community. Each hill may present its own eco-system with a fully integrated energy renewal operation. The hill slopes can include energy recycling systems connected to one another and to the valley at the center of the island through the grid. These systems may provide great heating and cooling efficiency to the inside of the dome. The structural grid of the island may integrate or circuit the water waste recycling management. The steep slopes of the hill also act as a natural ventilation system. In Dror's vision, both the wind and the rain water are recycled and utilized for the operation of the community life.
We aim for the 6 micro-environments to set the ground for a community that produces more energy than it consumes. The agricultural opportunity may take advantage of the different micro-climates at different heights of the hill slopes to create a variety of vegetation and culture.
The transportation grid of the island is drawn upon the particularity of its master-planning and the equi-distance between the center of the island and the center of each hill. A personal rapid transportation system as well as cable cars and walkways allow direct access from one hill to the other or to the downtown center.
Activity centers shall be housed in the heart of the geodesic dome of each hill—easy to access with cable cars and through the rapid transportation grid. These centers offer Education, Entertainment, Health and Sport centers as well as Business Districts.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Program: 16,535,000 m² master plan
Status: design concept