Columbia University’s GSAPP Program at Kadir Has University

This semester, graduate students from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation have launched a revitalization project for the Golden Horn. With support from Kadir Has University’s Fine Arts Department and Istanbul Studies Research Center, the Columbia students held a number of talks and workshops concerning the project, which aims to rejuvenate the urban geography of the Golden Horn coastline through the development of sustainable strategies of local habitation. The planned project area extends from Ataturk Bridge to the Golden Horn Bridge, and incorporates the Cibali campus of Kadir Has University as well.

From March 11th to March 20th, eight students and two lecturers from Columbia University visited Istanbul to further joint studio projects which have been conducted online since the beginning of this semester. Throughout the course of a series of excursions and presentations, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Aydın, the rector of Kadir Has University, met with authorities from the Istanbul Metropolitan City Planning and Design Center and the Mayor of Fatih, Mustafa Demir, in addition to local authorities, institutions and academicians who specialize in the Golden Horn area and urban development. At the Fine Arts Faculty of Kadir Has University, the team presented the results of analyses which have been ongoing since January, and through group discussions with experts from a variety of backgrounds, the team sought to bring to light issues pertaining to the area and the process of planning such a revitalization project. With the data they gathered while in Istanbul, the GSAPP students plan to continue working on their projects upon their return to Columbia University, and at the end of the semester, they will report the results of their research to Kadir Has University.