GAD Architects stacked a series of recycled shipping containers on top of a fancy shopping mall in Istanbul to create this remarkable modern day bazaar. Officially it’s a food court, but in practice, it is so much more.
Used shipping containers are as much of a nuisance as they are ubiquitous, but artists, designers and developers in the Middle East are finally getting used to the idea that they can be reused in numerous exciting ways.
Several shipping containers were deployed to construct this two-level assemblage of retail facilities and restaurants in Istanbul, Turkey – an airy, multipurpose space that comfortably circulates customers while providing plenty of green space at the same time.
In summer, the units can be opened up without excess solar gain to make optimum use of the prevailing breeze, but in winter months, when it’s colder, the whole area can be closed down to trap warmth inside
The lower, denser level accessible from the Trump Towers Mall below is comprised of a series of intersecting walkways and what is officially called a “food court” that includes 18 eateries and shops.
“Different cuisines in a mix with contemporary retail requires a sensitive design for every single unit, establishing and underlining it’s personal identity, thus contributing to a solid overall appearance,” writes GAD on their website.
While this area resembles the traditional souk in function, its newness and the upscale environment detracts somewhat from the ambience of a souk, but the shipping containers and interior decor add depth and character in a way that straight up concrete buildings will never do.
Jonas Kirsch, an architect involved in the project, said this to Frame Web:
“We chose the container – with its industrial and rough aesthetic – to create an urban, contemporary atmosphere and contrast and thereby enrich its surroundings,” he said.
“Furthermore, the container as a generic, standardised unit is a great passe-partout for the interiors of the 25 units within the project and their eclectic appearances, while framing and unifying them at the same time.”
Glass facades create an air of transparency and community while also ensuring that the space is bright
and upbeat, and the upstairs is more relaxed with five restaurants that have large decks and terraces as well as a plenty of (hopefully indigenous) greenery.
Adaptive reuse, creative use of space, and modular design combined with a strict attention to structural integrity results in a very respectable project that is bound to be relished by both high and low maintenance customers.
Images via Alp Eren