Istanbul, TR

Pedestrian Bridge
Pedestrian Bridge



Beylikdüzü Recreational Valley and Bridges National Competition has been organized by Beylikduzu Municipality in order to receive proposals for the rehabilitation and design of the Recreational Valley located in Beylikduzu, the canal running along the valley in the north-south axis, and its two bridges, the Pedestrian Crossing and the Motorway Bridge.

The lack of green spaces in Istanbul, mainly caused by the high density of population and the constant flux of migration, has been a well-known fact for decades. Beylikduzu, a town on the western suburbs of Istanbul, poses itself with a high potential to offer green spaces not only for its immediate surroundings, but more importantly for Istanbul on an urban scale. Future zoning plans for Beylikduzu include the realization of numerous higher education facilities, emphasizing the fact that the area will become an attraction point for young population. Moreover, TUYAP Fair Convention and Congress Centre, located on the north-west of the site, is renowned for bringing together Turkish and foreign trade fairs as well as visitors from around Istanbul. As such, the project site, the Recreational Valley, should be equipped with facilities and characteristics which will have an overall impact on the Istanbul population with varying demographics.

The Main Theme devised for the future of the Recreational Valley is the realization of Istanbul Urban Park, which comprises a holistic vision into generating green areas, sports and cultural facilities with an ecological approach. The urban and local scale proposals of the project all feed into and support the main concept.


o          URBAN SCALE

Green Urban Corridor

While the Recreational Valley flows along the north-south direction, one of the major urban aims of the proposal is to generate a green urban corridor along the east-west axis of the Recreational Valley, by offering green spaces throughout the Pedestrian Axis which will connect to the Pedestrian Crossing, thereby linking the east and west edges of the valley.

Atatürk Boulevard – Anadolu Street Junction

The existing junction creates a physical barrier along the north-south axis of the Recreational Valley. In order to restore the climatic and ecological stability of the valley, while at the same time create a continuous connection to Marmara Sea, the inlay part of the junction is proposed to be removed. In this way, the new junction proposal will be lifted from the ground plane, enabling the physical continuity of the valley.

Tram Line

In the existing urban context, the Metro-bus line reaches TUYAP. By 2017 the Istanbul Underground line will also be connected to TUYAP. It is devised that by linking the metro-bus and underground stations to the Recreational Valley, visitors travelling to TUYAP can be directed towards the Recreational Valley and benefit from its cultural / physical activities. As such, a circular Tram Line connecting TUYAP – Recreational Valley – Marmara Sea is proposed.

Cycling Path

A short cycling path on the west part of the Recreational Valley currently exists. One of the major proposals on the urban scale is to extend the cycling path such that it can circulate around the valley and pass through the Pedestrian Crossing, enabling a continuous cycling route which offers a series of panoramas.

Sea Port

A Sea Port is proposed to be located on the southern part of the Recreational Valley, where it meets with Marmara Sea, becoming a part of the Istanbul Sea Transportation network and allowing visitors from all over Istanbul to reach the valley with ease. 

Additional Bus / Dolmus (Shared Taxi) Routes

In the existing urban context, the physical barrier between the east and west sides of the Recreational Valley add a limitation to the public transportation routes, especially the commonly used bus and dolmus (shared taxi) lines. With the proposal of the Motorway Bridge, the creation of additional bus / dolmus stops along the newly generated east-west axis is devised, allowing the public to move freely throughout the valley.

Viewing Platforms

One of the key urban proposals which will regenerate the Recreational Valley and contribute to its spatial experience is the Viewing Platforms. These platforms are located along carefully selected focal areas throughout the east and west borders of the valley. They facilitate visual integration with the valley from various viewpoints, and offer alternative recreational areas for visitors.   



Contextual Settlement

The main motives for settlement on site are guided by interweaving the focal areas and transportation networks around the Recreational Valley as a global network, where all site information can transform into design constraints. While the natural slope of the valley is preserved throughout its functional zoning, its maximum usage has been permitted with the proposed circulation pathways. Another key motive directing the design outcome has been the regeneration of the canal without manipulating its existing bed, while at the same time offering design solutions for its over-flooding areas for recreational / ecological purposes. During cold and rainy seasons, the over-flooding areas are proposed to be facilitated as artificial ponds, surrounded by areas with thick vegetation in order to highlight the experience of natural life.

Functional Zoning / Focal Areas

The Recreational Valley is envisioned to act as an Urban Park which integrates recreational, cultural, and sports-related facilities with an emphasis on natural life and ecologies. As such, sports functions and their related facilities, amphitheatres for arts / cultural activities and the open-air cinema are distributed throughout the valley in areas permitted by the natural slope. These multiple focal areas are connected to each other via various circulation routes which are characterized by a fluid, continuous design approach.

The focal areas which animate the experience in the Recreational Valley are as follows: Open-air Cinema, Art Arena, Yoga Arena, Beach Volley, Sports Club, Cafes, and Horse Ranch.

Circulation Routes

Circulation routes are grouped into 3 types in relation to the variations in their functional and experiential characteristics. Their shared associations include unified design approach, creating links between the east and west edges of the Recreational Valley, and increasing accessibility throughout the valley. 

•           Pathways: Pathways are 3 meters wide slender circulation routes which accentuate the natural life experience throughout the valley. They are envisioned to create secluded spaces for visitors, while being simultaneously at the centre of an urban setting. As such, pathways travel mostly through the areas characterized by thick vegetation. Pathways are differentiated from the rest of the circulation routes as they rise up from the ground plane in certain areas, allowing the visitors to experience the valley from multiple levels.

•           Pedestrian / Cycling Route: Pedestrian / cycling route is a 4 meters wide network which permits the circulation of both pedestrians and cyclists in a comfortable way.

•           Vertical Connections: Vertical connection routes are characterized as series of steps which facilitate the fast access to the bottom of the valley for visitors.


The designs of the Pedestrian Crossing and the Motorway Bridge are governed by a unified approach with the fluid design dynamics of the Recreational Valley, a coherent design solution, adaptability to the topography of the valley, and capacity to present visual continuity throughout the site with lightweight structural solutions. In this respect, both bridges integrate form and structure, where form and structure cannot be treated as singular elements in design.

Owing to its lightweight steel structural solution, the Pedestrian Crossing generates visual continuity throughout the valley. It gives way to ease of circulation due to its overhead canopy, which opens up or creates enclosed areas along its path. A key element of the pedestrian crossing is its secondary pedestrian pathway, which tears away from the ground plane of the crossing and follows the curvature of the steel structure towards the bottom of the valley. In this way, while pedestrians can pass along the east-west axis along the crossing, they can also walk down to the valley and reach the pedestrian / cycling route. With the generation of various differentiated circulation routes on the crossing, form, structure, and circulation become intertwined design elements.

The Motorway Bridge is envisioned with a similar steel lightweight structure as the Pedestrian Crossing, allowing for visual continuity and daylight throughout the valley. On each direction, it comprises 2 lanes for vehicle traffic, 1 lane for cycling route, and a pedestrian crossing. The traffic on both directions is separated by a green corridor which runs along the mid-axis of the bridge. The bus and dolmus (shared taxis) stops are located along this green corridor, which is accommodated with overhead canopies for pedestrians. Due to the location of the bridge, where the winds are received with greatest strength, wind mills are placed on various locations within the green corridor. The electrical energy gained from wind mills are proposed to be implemented for the lighting requirements of the Recreational Valley.


The choice of vegetation employed to integrate Beylikduzu’s urban setting with the natural habitat is based on several goals including the creation of a mild climate, air purification, reducing carbon emissions, and decreasing the negative effects of pollution, noise, and winds. Trees play an integral role in the improvement of soil and air quality. Tree roots prevent soil erosion along valley slopes and ease the absorption process of rain water. As such, trees have a key function in the stabilization of underground waters in urban developments. Furthermore, sustaining the variety in vegetation to a maximum level aids in the improvement of urban biological diversity. As such, various animal groups can form their own habitats along the valley plains, while healthy insect species can contribute to the newly rehabilitated ecosystem.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Istanbul, TR
Firm Role: MAA with Elif Erdine won 3rd Mention with their design Proposal for the Beylikduzu Recreational Valley & Bridges Competition
Additional Credits: -
Architect: Melike Altınışık Architects with Elif Erdine
Design: Melike Altınışık, Elif Erdine
Project Team: Demet Cekic, İrem Coşkun, Ali Uçar
Landscape Architect: Nursen Gümüşsoy
Structure Engineer : Uğur Seymen ( Yapı Akademisi )
Urban Planner: Atılım Yılmaz
Consultant Architect: Gül Ertekin
Consultant Engineer: Melih Altınışık