Round tables videos

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Watch now all the lectures from the round tables framed inside the Thinking the Edge – Water and Culture 2013

Round table #01

venue: Istanbul Modern
title: Istanbul – A city on the edge
moderating: Yüksel Demir

In the first round table, Murat Vefkioğlu, Luca Orlandi, Yüksel Demir, Paolo Belloni and Ana Hidalgo focused the attention to the nature of Istanbul, under the title “ISTANBUL – A CITY ON THE EDGE” they presented the importance of the waterfront in the development of the city from Mimar Sinan Mosques and infrastructures to the most recent projects and competitions that animate the contemporary architectonic and urban debate in the city. Istanbul is a city historically placed “on the edge”: the boundary between East and West, between Europe and Asia, between land and water. Istanbul, always a crossroad for cultures and people, a city that has been built in close relation to the water and with the different waters that draw its structure: the mighty waters of the Bosphorus, always crossed by the dense network of streams of merchants from the North to the South of the world; the Golden Horn, a true “square on the water” which is the reference point for the urban fabric of the historic districts of the city, the water of the powerful hydraulic structure that feeds the city, its cisterns and aqueducts; expertly interpreted in the work of Mimar Sinan. Istanbul is also a modern city that in recent years, and in continuity with the history and tradition of the city, has produced projects from local architects of renowned fame for the redesign of the immense waterfront of a city that has the size of a nation. Many contests and projects in recent years have animated the debate of architecture and urban planning in Istanbul. These two sides of the city, the historic and the modern, were presented by Luca Orlandi, professor of history at İTÜ in Istanbul and Murat Vefkioğlu, director of the Municipal Institute of Planning of Istanbul for many years. Their interventions were guided and moderated by Yüksel Demir, professor of architectural design at the İTÜ in Istanbul.


Murat Vefkioglu – ‘Istanbul Recent projects’

Luca Orlandi – “Istanbul Waterfront – a Revisitation of Sinan’s works”

Round table #02

venue: Istanbul Modern
title: Istanbul – A city on the edge
moderating: Blanca Lleo

In the second round table in Istanbul Modern, Eduard Bru, one of the protagonists of the urban renewal of Barcelona during the 1992 Olympics; Javier Malo de Molina from the office Burgos&Garrido who realized the Madrid Rio Project, a mega infrastructural project interesting for the city of Madrid at a territorial scale that suggested the burial of an important artery of urban mobility has allowed the creation of a large linear public space; Murat Tabanlıoğlu, the author of Galata Port with the moderation of Blanc Lleó, department chair at the University of Madrid, faced themselves about the topic “URBAN TOPOGRAPHIES” to investigate the relation between projects at the big scale end the physical morphology of the territory and the city.
There is a close relationship between the structure of the urban physical entity of the territory and the topographical nature of the
places on top of which the city is built over time. The relationship between topography and design of the city is historically the most distinctive element in the creation of the historic city. The fabric of the city adapts, while redesigning, transforming and leaving, the exceptional buildings of a particular common interest as a counterpoint to this report.
The topographical dimension, as opposed to a more conceptually abstract and geometric dimension, comes back strongly in the proposals of several projects involving the transformation of the contemporary city. They raise questions on the design of a new urban topography. In this panel the discussion has been presented, along with research and projects that focus the attention on this relationship between topography, including natural size and artifice.


Eduard Bru – “Urban topographies”

Murat Tabanlioglu – “Waterfront projects”

Javier Malo de Molina (Burgos & Garrido Architects) – “Madrid Rio”

Round table #03

venue: Istanbul Modern
title: The scale of architecture. 5+5 projects
moderating: Ana Hidalgo

“The scale of architecture” has been the topic of the third round table that counted with the participation of several architects whose work is known for the attention to the medium and small scale of architecture. Han Tümertekin, Blanca Lleò, SO?, Fred Levrat and Juan Elvira presented some of their more recent works.
The quality of the city is based on two main scales of observation. On the one hand the size of the planning schemes and the definition of general strategies, the relationship between density of the spaces and buildings, mobility strategies and stratification that history has left in its course; on the other hand the intrinsic qualities of each of the buildings and spaces
that conforms a city. The quality of a city is influenced by the intrinsic quality of each of the individual pieces of the huge mosaic that defines it. The quality of the city can then be read as the sum of the quality of individual interventions that it contains.
As the well-known representation of the Ideal city attributed to Piero della Francesca and kept in the Palazzo Ducale of Urbino. This
roundtable addressed the issue of limits and thresholds focusing its attention on issues affecting the architectural design field, the value of space in the architectural scale and sensitivity of materials as a decisive instrument for the value of a project and the quality of the space in which we live.


Han Tümertekin – ‘Recent projects’


Fred Levrat

Blanca Lleó

Juan Elvira

Round table #04

venue: TAK
title: Water and Landscape
moderating: Luca Molinari

The TAK Cultural Center in Kadıköy has been the theater of the forth round table dedicated to the relation between “WATER AND LANDSCAPE”. Three known architects presented their own work, bringing attention to those projects related to the issue of limits and water, where the project becomes something more than a simple architecture to become an element of landscape and an element of interpretation of the point of contact between two different materials. Sila Akalp outlined the activity of TAK and the importance of the participative methodology in some ongoing projects involving the transformation of important areas In Kadiköy. Stefano Boeri presented the project for the new Regional Centre for the Mediterranean in Marseille and the maritime cluster of “La Maddalena”, as well as other projects in different scales related to the theme of the limit. Manuel Aires Mateus decided to select four small projects demonstrating how the projects of this Portuguese architect are significant to the issue of threshold and the relationship
between the two subjects whose distinctive characteristics are often conceptually emphasised in a close relationship between black and white, empty and full, interior and exterior materials as clearly distinct but inextricably protagonists for the quality of the project.
The interventions of the architects were led by Luca Molinari, author and architecture critic, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale of Architecture in 2011 and consultant for the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, who proposed a provocative introduction to the round table.


Sila Akalp

Stefano Boeri

Manuel Aires Mateus

Round table #05

venue: SALT Galata
title: Public space for different communities – How a big event transforms a city
moderating: Zuhal Ulusoy

A warm Saturday evening, with the smell of the tear gas coming inside the windows of Salt Galata Cultural Centre was the atmosphere of the fifth round table dedicated to the design of the public space and its importance in the contemporary city under the dense title “public space for different communities-how big events can change a city” The events featured in the news throughout the world are yet another clear demonstration of how public space constitutes the real and symbolic heart and soul to a city and for its people. The organisation of major events present a unique occasion, in a moment in which the city looks at itself on a mirror and decides the look it wants to present to the world as idea and image of itself. It gathers the goals of a life and projects them to an intense building activity that reshapes its face, in some cases investing a substantial sum to modernise itself. The protagonist of these transformations is always the public space. In this round table they have been compared the changes which occurred in Barcelona in relation to the Olympic games of ‘92 until today through the story of Manuel Gausa.
The transformations of Turin for the Winter Olympics in 2006 and Milan in view of Expo 2015 were presented by Luca Molinari and
an interesting vision of the city of Istanbul, which was nominated for the Olympics 2020, was presented by the young studio Superpool through a smart and ironic representation of some topics, contradictions and potentialities of the work on public space in Istanbul. Zuhal Ulusoy the Dean of the School of Architecture at the Kadir Has University and coordinator of one of the teams working in the strong transformation of the city of Izmir.


Manuel Gausa – “Barcelona urban projects”

Superpool – “Mapping Istanbul”

Luca Molinari – “Turin Winter Olympics-Milan Expo 2015”

Round table #06

venue: Kadir Has University
title: Izmir projects
moderating: Zuhal Ulusoy

The “IZMIR PROJECTS” has been the topic of interest of the last round table organized by Zuhal Ulusoy in the Kadir Has university focused on the projects initiated by the Greater Izmir Municipality for redesigning the waterfront to enhance Izmir’s relation with the sea.
Following the five groups consisting of professionals, designers, academicians from various expertise fields to work on the projects,
an office was formed within the municipality to specifically prepare the final documents for the bidding and implementation stages.
Organization of the process in various stages, starting with preliminary workshops and meetings participated by a wide range of stakeholders, all the way to intensive sessions with comprehensive design teams were shared. The way the project has been publicly shared via media and in different design platforms, and the current state of the projects have also been discussed.


Zuhal Ulusoy (video coming soon)


venue: DEPO Cultural Centre
title: “Inexperience”
presenting: Mariona Benain

“The scale of architecture” has been the topic of the presentation and temporary exhibition organized in DEPO Cultural Centre in Karaköy where the collaboration between TTE and the Young Architects Association of Catalonia animated the presentation of three young architects coming from Barcelona to present their work as selected in the last edition of the Young Architects awards organized by the Catalan association AJAC, as part of the organization team of “Thinking the Edge: water and culture”, has transformed the usual exhibition format into an installation showing the award winning projects which is to be used as the background for the first
“Inexperience” session in Istanbul.
Jordi Safont-Tria, Carles Enrich and Pere Buil presented a selection of their works offering the opportunity to appreciate the value of the small scale in the professional activity of young architects and to understand the dynamics of initiating in the profession
for an architect that are basically the same in all the world.


Pere Buil

Carle Enrich

Jordi Safont-Tria