Sekiz Arti architecture firm has won the competition to redesign the Gallipoli National Park in Istanbul laucnhed by the Canakkale government.
Located in the a Gallipoli Peninsula at the Western side of Turkey, this region holds a particular significance to the country due to being a major site during the WWI battle where the declining Ottoman Empire thwarted an attempted invasion by the British forces.
Known as one of the defining moment for modern Turkey, the site of the battle was commemorated by a national park which features a series of monuments and memorials.
The redesign aims to consolidate these sites in a more coherent whole therefore the firm’s central focus is the access to the various sites, focusing on establishing hierarchies and a greater understanding of the site both in terms of space as well historically.
The architects said: “The visitors’ relationship with the peninsula does not create a planned access hierarchy, both at the scale of the entire park and at the scales of individual monuments. This eliminates the potential for a holistic impression of the area, as well as the integrity of individual focus points; therefore the possibilities of rich and multilayered experiences.
“The most visible indicator of this is the feeling that narrative and spatial approaches are created without listening to, without apprehending the soul of the site.”
“We have had chance to re-consider the semantic and spatial holism the site should possess with this competition. We believe that this holism we are trying to achieve is possible through the concept of ‘distancing’,” they added.
The ‘distancing’ itself is achieved through the construction of a single path which links all sites in the park called the “History Line”, allowing visitors to view the monuments and memorials from afar before taking smaller paths to approach them.
The architects said: “With distancing ourselves we can create a possibility to listen the voice of the geography, a gap to sense the soul and the site.”
The historic background of the site is also explained through the History Line, where it is spread across the length of the trail.