The Sky Spotting Stop, designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas, the long awaited summer venue of Istanbul Modern Museum’s garden, opened on June 25. The garden venue will be open until Oct. 20.
Initiated by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 in New York, the “YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program” is held biannually during the summer, offering young emerging architects the opportunity to design a temporary installation in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard.
The program’s aim is to encourage architects to address environmental issues such as sustainability, re-use, and re-cycling, and to explore innovative design ideas providing elements of shade, water, and seating that would increase the possibilities of use in open-air spaces. Providing a popular urban venue for the summer, these designs are expected to protect visitors from the heat of the city, host diverse events, and create intimate social spaces for city-dwellers – all within a modest budget and through reasonable architectural solutions.
The YAP began in 1998 in MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York, and went on to become international with the participation of CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile in 2010 and the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome in 2011. In 2012, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey to join the program and further expand it. Istanbul Modern’s sculpture garden and the gravel area on the filled ground in the courtyard of the museum – itself situated in one of the warehouses designed by Sedad Hakkı Eldem – was selected as the project site for YAP Istanbul Modern. The jury, which came together to select the winning project, was formed of architectural experts and of representatives from Istanbul Modern and the other YAP programs. From among the proposals of the five finalists, the jury selected the project “Sky Spotting Stop” designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas.
Events of the Sky Spotting Stop
“Sky Spotting Stop” shades the courtyard of Istanbul Modern while floating gently on the hidden waters of the Bosphorus, projecting its host space upon the city. Thanks to the structural characteristics of the courtyard and the warehouse in which the museum is located, the motion of the waves is transferred to the movement of the architectural elements. The courtyard, which, though situated right by the shore, is disconnected from it by a customs zone, is defined anew thanks to shading elements supported by buoys floating in the water right beneath the courtyard ground. The courtyard becomes part of the skyline thanks to this ephemeral, albeit lively addition, which thus becomes visible both from the Bosphorus and the highest points of the city. Visitors in the courtyard can spend time under the undulating shade during the day and among the varying reflections after nightfall. The various uses of the courtyard are shaped by elements made from reused materials; reused vehicle tires covered with fishnets become lightweight, sturdy, portable units. The altering landscape that emerges and the constantly moving canopies transform the courtyard into a new stop in the city for resting, gathering, playing, or “sky-spotting.”
The project is feasible and carries no financial risks of exceeding the allocated budget. The engagement of local industrial groups and the utilization of local and used materials were noted as positive aspects. The originality of the selected project will contribute to the aesthetic world of architecture and design.