The Watergarden Project located in Atasehir district of Istanbul, is a recreational center focusing only on gastronomy and entertainment. It is designed by the Dutch design firm, T Concept and the spatial organization as well as the interior design is undertaken by GVDS
The main focal points are specialized for refreshments and recreational functions in the project, which has a balanced spatial organization in open, semi-open and closed spaces. There are various units in relation but different from each other, spreaded over a site of 165.000m2, and designed for various activities. The performance pool of covering an area of 5000m2 is aimed to be the project’s visual and functional center and different areas around the pool are designed to have different atmospheres related with the user profile. Additionally, the City Park, designed by DS Architecture, is an important part of the project that is surrounded by plants and trees and covers a 15.000m2 of land.
The Watergarden Project, needs a different design approach from a conventional shopping mall. The project demands different functions merged into a single structure for different user profiles and has a cellular spatial organization consisting of independent identities. The most difficult part of the project is to create a harmonic relation between the different atmospheres, contrary to the typical shopping mall design approach, which becomes obsolete in this case.
The restaurants are placed on one side of the pool while bistros are placed on the other side. The other areas that are a few steps away, named as the Organic Market or the Nostalgia Street that both have different atmospheres and functions, are continuously linked to each other with alternative routes and pedestrian paths. This is why the Watergarden Project embraced a horizontal hierarchy in its interior organization and differs from other shopping mall design standards.
As it also can be seen in other MDArch projects, the surfaces are fairly fixed to the existing structure and the coating materials are selected as perforated metal, natural wood and stone that are easy to attach or to replace.
Starting from Organic Market to the botanical garden floor, the whole section of the building is visually connected. The elliptical gallery not only contains the escalators but also has a kinetic sculpture, which is also designed by GVDS.
In the first steps of the design process, the Organic Market and the Nostalgia Street are evaluated both for the visiting guests and the people working in. The aim is to give the feeling that those spaces are already standing there before the Watergarden Project, via choices made for material, texture, color and dimensions.
The surfaces that are part of the Nostalgia Street are intended not to be decorations; therefore carefully patinated natural materials are preferred. To keep the atmosphere close to a typical market street in any city, the street dimensions in cross section are kept narrow as much as possible. The guests are evaluated as a parameter for the design as much as the residents and the employees in the street.
The transiency is emphasized in the Organic Market field, to keep it similar to a typical neighborhood market. All the structural parts in the field are designed from cast iron, therefore there won’t be any marks or damage left on the field when the whole structure is removed. The essential components of this neutral field, which will keep the place alive, are regarded as people and their relations, therefore the aim is to create an independent atmosphere that will be hosting these relations.
Considered as an important center for refreshments in the Anatolian part of Istanbul in the future, the Watergarden project also include a cinema complex of 11 halls, a flexible event venue that can host 4000 people, theatre venue, entertainment clubs, culinary arts school for both children and adults, sports center, playground for kids and a kindergarten.