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B.Arch Graduation Project

BI-T-OWER

Program / Type: Masterplan, Technology

Location: Ankara, Turkey

Year: 2022-2023 Spring

Critic:

Prof.Dr.Aysen Savas 

Prof.Dr.Arzu Gonenc Sorguc

Ins.Emre Erkal

Res.Ass.Omer Faruk Agirsoy

Res.Ass.Serda Buket Erol

Date

2022-2023 I Fall - Spring Architectural Design V-VI

The project considers data as the most valuable resource of today’s world and tries to make its production and storage accessible to public via injecting these storages into the left-over voids of shopping malls. It, further, aims at turning these places accessible energy hubs by utilizing its energy intensive nature in public’s benefit through infrastructural tools. It believes that the new urban typology that can dig, store and present the stories of Ankara as well as prepare the city for the future smart typologies will be the data centers and it seeks for the ways to integrate these centers to the urban fabric by proposing the togetherness of public programs with the essential infrastructure of the data center. For the integration of data centers in the city, shopping malls as one of the most prominent new “urban” typologies of Ankara are targeted.

 

It is believed that the unproductive mall clusters can be re-urbanized as an instrument for new publicity understanding. At this point, the project proposes data farms that will invade and replace shopping malls and thus, introduces a “contemporary” and digital way of production and interaction by forming different functional centers spread across the city. These centers also are thought to create their own sub-centers in time as the localization of data will become necessary.

So, the project believes togetherness of data and public will be the key point for sustainable and prosperous cities of the future and it claims Ankara would catch the 21st century’s digital flow (data) and protect its cultural past (data+artifacts) only with these kind of big infrastructural visions and developments. It celebrates data farms as the protector and cradle of our intellectual outcome and defines its architecture that is not only understood with the systems based upon human scale, but rather by the heterotopia of dataspace where citizens confront and consume the consequences of their own post-truths.

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Manifest

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Introduction and claim

In every era, there have been civic prototypes that added to the public life and created a vision for the society. Greeks utilized Agora as their main public hub which enables the society to feel like a participant of democracy. This was possibly because of the program Agora had; Stoa for free thinking and commerce, Bouleuterion for discussion and management, Tholos for representation, Temple for symbolizing values and Metroon for archiving… All these elements in the program of Agora emerged on need and shaped within the formal characteristic of the era and the society. The functions that sustained the life of the polis re-emerged in every society and era with different programmatic layouts. It became Forum in Roma Era, Piazza and Square in Europe, Housing projects in Modern era and Museum/Gallery typologies in the past decade. All these prototypes that are trying to form the ground for production and presentation of societal values are now slowly being destroyed by the new realm of shopping malls -which promotes consumption with no production or intellectual awareness under their protected and idealized artificial layouts.

The essence of shopping has been able to colonize and even replace almost every aspect of urban life. It invaded town centers, suburbs, streets, and now train stations, museums, airports, and the internet. And not surprisingly, the physical shopping mall prototype give no hope as public space of the future since mall clusters are predicted to turn into retail wastelands as digitalization and e-commerce grow. It will eventually end up being places for data storage and hosting systems.

On the other side, this consuming culture -along with digitalization- leads to the production of “data”. The amount of data produced by companies, governments, and individuals on the daily basis in the modern borderless world, constitutes a huge amount of information that is predicted to be over 2.5 Quintilian bytes every day across the globe. This information on city scale is also expected to increase as smart cities emerge and grow.
 

Coming back to Ankara as the production ground

Ankara, as the capital of Turkish Republic, was once founded as a bare land that is not a Modern nor a contemporary city. It is a land that hosted many cultures from Galatians to Hittites and from Romans to Ottoman Empire. Although it seems to be a physical bare land, it has many memories and cultural history that are waiting to be dug out. Besides its history, it also had experienced a visioner Republican period that was planned by prominent city planners of its era like Jansen and Lörcher. In the Republican Era, Ankara had a diverse city life that were consisting of public gardens, cultural facilities and social institutions that contributed to its cultural memory and civic life. One of the most prominent examples of Ankara that could be considered as a public prototype of its term, was Ataturk Forest Farm which was an excellent example of a “sustainable” city culture as it includes production facilities and makes these production process and products available for the public by introducing a programmatic interface that allows public interaction and participation. It was a farm that holds the founder of the republic’s name (Ataturk) and a very important vision for the future of Ankara and Turkish Republic.

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Projections on Ankara

Recently, Ataturk Forest Farm was invaded by the previous governmental acts and ideologies and instead, more than 35 shopping malls as the “brand-new” public typologies are introduced in different parts of the city. So, a new start for Ankara could only be possible with visioner acts that would consider the necessities and further future of the city and the world and the start may be the new generations that will be born inside the world of data. To achieve this, referencing to Ataturk Forest Farm, the project claims that Data Farms would be the representative prototypes of the 21st century smart cities and it aims at investigating the post-anthropocene public interface of these data farms as the grounds for saving and restoring the cultural data of Ankara within the typicality of shopping malls.

 

One expectation is utilizing edge computing, automation with artificial intelligence and robotic process automation and sustainable acts for these centers which consumes serious amount of energy. This means, the way the data that we produce every second but never see and don’t know where it is stored is starting to be discussed at a different level. At this point, thinking of the injection of data centers -which are strictly protected and alienated- within the shopping malls -which function like useless private voids that claims to be one of the most powerful the public centers of 21st century- might be a very strong transformative force for the future cities. It also will have the potential of using the strategic urban and sub-urban locations of these malls of Ankara and will help the centralization of these data centers which is thought to be critical as the data-based communication systems demand faster and faster communication protocols.
 

Project Aim

The project considers data as the most valuable resource of today’s world and tries to make its production and storage accessible to public via injecting these storages into the left-over voids of shopping malls. It, further, aims at turning these places accessible energy hubs by utilizing its energy intensive nature in public’s benefit through infrastructural tools. It believes that the new urban typology that can dig, store and present the stories of Ankara as well as prepare the city for the future smart typologies will be the data centers and it seeks for the ways to integrate these centers to the urban fabric by proposing the togetherness of public programs with the essential infrastructure of the data center. For the integration of data centers in the city, shopping malls as one of the most prominent new “urban” typologies of Ankara are targeted. It is believed that the unproductive mall clusters can be re-urbanized as an instrument for new publicity understanding. At this point, the project proposes data farms that will invade and replace shopping malls and thus, introduces a “contemporary” and digital way of production and interaction by forming different functional centers spread across the city. These centers also are thought to create their own sub-centers in time as the localization of data will become necessary.

 

So, the project believes togetherness of data and public will be the key point for sustainable and prosperous cities of the future and it claims Ankara could catch the 21st century’s digital flow (data) and protect its cultural past (data+artifacts) only with the generations that will be born inside data. It celebrates data farms as the protector and cradle of our intellectual outcome and defines its architecture that is not only understood with the systems based upon human scale, but rather by the heterotopia of dataspace where citizens confront and consume the consequences of their own post-truths.
 

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