Building on a site that is at high risk of and requires extensive ground improvements, how might we create a substructure that is naturally isolated from earthquake loads, floods, and rising sea levels? How might we rethink the ground conditions to minimize the impacts of earthquakes? Is it possible to have a building with no foundation?
How might we tap into the shipbuilding industry that Izmir is traditionally good at, to solve future problems of energy transition, port relocation, and climate change at once? How might we take the first step towards a future floating city for Izmir?
We are living in a volatile and complex world. Climate change, energy crises, economic downturns, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing natural disasters push us architects to reconsider our design priorities.
In order to address the urgent need to create equitable, resilient, and nature-centered cities, we need to change how we practice architecture and set new standards for the construction industry. SOUR’s proposal for Izmir Sustainability Center, SAL, is designed as Turkiye’s first floating public building.
Through its floating structure, SAL significantly reduces embodied carbon footprint, responds to rising sea levels, and avoids earthquake loads and ground improvements on a site with a high risk of liquefaction.
By tapping into Izmir’s traditional shipbuilding know-how, SAL aims to answer future problems in energy transition, port relocation, and climate change. SAL is designed as a journey between modern and traditional, local and global, calm and bold.
It provides viable yet elegant solutions to energy and water usage, material and resource wastage, supply chain inefficiencies, and embodied carbon footprint. It is a self-sufficient structure that can sail to different ports, becoming a traveling landmark within the city’s public infrastructure.
SAL is Turkiye’s first carbon-negative public structure that serves as an educational and recreational venue, serving Izmir’s socio-cultural, environmental, and climate database. Source by SOUR.
Location: Turan, Izmir, Türkiye
Design: Inanc Eray – SOUR (Architect, Designer), Jelle Vedders – Bartels & Vedders (Floating Structures Engineer)
Design Team: Pinar Guvenc, Merve Güven, Merve Akbay, Pınar Gürsoy, Nicholas Doghlass, Derin Şahin, Marianne de Zeeuw, Gamze Gürgenç, İrem Göçmenoğlu, Joyce Lai, Kadija Fadil Bayero, Hitakshi Agrawal, Şevki Yapıcı
Structural Design: Super Structure – Mustafa Adnan Ogut – Emir Mühendislik
Floatıng Structures: Jelle Vedders – Bartels & Vedders
Ship Building Design: Samet Karaçoban – Karaçoban Engineering
Soil and Ground: Fatih Kulaç – Zetaş AŞ
Structural Timber: Prof. Dr. Demet Sürücü – Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi
Client: Izmir Metropolitan Municipality
Size: 5885 m2
Images: Courtesy of SOUR