5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: Making City & Atelier Istanbul

Tues 13 March 2012 7pm

  • 5th International Architecture Biennale Istanbul

Making City Atelier Istanbul: Connecting disciplines and stakeholders in an innovative strategy for the urbanization of Istanbul

Ahead of the 5th IABR's April opening in Rotterdam, the AF hosts an evening with Joachim Declerck (Co-Curator of the 5th IABR: Making City; Program Director of Architecture Workroom Brussels; Coordinator of Atelier Istanbul),  and Dirk Sijmons (Partner of H+N+S Landscape Architects, Design Office in Atelier Istanbul; former Governmental Advisor on Landscape). The event will be chaired by curator, writer and Chief Curator of the forthcoming 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Beatrice Galilee.

How do we make city? How do we deploy making city in response to pressing socio-economic and ecological issues? With these questions, the 5th IABR: Making City is calling on everyone involved – public officials, policy makers, politicians, designers and citizens – with a message: our future is the future of our cities, so let us actively reconsider the future of cities by joining together in new ways to develop new ways of making city.

The event will focus on one of the key projects of the 5th IABR, Atelier Istanbul, to explore the Biennale’s working methods as both a cultural operator and a platform for research and development; collaborating with cities on concrete social and spatial challenges to effect lasting urban development by connecting disciplines, sectors and public and private stakeholders through design, research and a process of international debate and reflection.

Atelier Istanbul

Atelier Istanbul is set up by the IABR in collaboration with the Turkish municipality of Arnavutköy in response to Arnavutköy having commissioned the IABR to develop a Strategic Vision and Action Plan for the area. The two design offices, H+N+S Landscape Architects from Holland and 51N4E from Belgium, together developed a so called ‘occupation strategy’ to provide a structure for the ongoing urbanization of Istanbul, while also productively integrating the drinking water basins and agricultural lands into the urban tissue. Through several workshops, the Atelier strengthened the alliance by bringing together the different local, metropolitan and national stakeholders to jointly work on the development of a strategy for the region.

This strategy has been adopted by the local alliance and will be developed further into an action plan and and pilot projects, to be implemented by 2014. Atelier Istanbul is a perfect example of the “sabbatical detour” – the working method of the Biennale as a cultural operator as well as a platform for research and development, collaborating with cities on concrete social and spatial challenges, to explore how this method can catalyze and effect lasting urban development by connecting disciplines, sectors and public and private stakeholders, through design, research and a process of international debate and reflection.

International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR)

Since its foundation, the IABR has advocated the view that architecture should play a role in finding ‘big answers’ to the ‘big problems’ facing the world today. Architects can draw on their profession to make a concrete and substantial contribution to the quality of the human living environment, independently and even more effectively in collaboration with other disciplines. What matters to the IABR is therefore architecture as the producer of our future housing, living and working environment. 

The IABR achieves its objectives through long-term research and development programmes, increasingly linked to concrete and real urban projects. The results of this research carried out at home and abroad is then presented on the international platform of the Biennale to the widest possible audience in the form of exhibitions, publications, conferences, documentaries, a website and more. Moreover, public debate takes place with professional colleagues from different countries, clients from the building sector, social partners, and of course residents and the public at large. Architecture is the starting point of all events and activities, though always in relation to a political, cultural and sociological perspective.

The IABR forms part of the basic infrastructure of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and also receives regular support from the City of Rotterdam and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.