Erik Behrens of AECOM and his Architectural Design Studio London have been selected as the winner of this year’s WAN Future Projects Transport Award 2016 for the spectacular Underwater Domes of Istanbul.
The winning design was selected from a shortlist of six entries by an expert judging panel. The members of the panel were particularly impressed by AECOM’s approach to a new pedestrian route. The location of this project inspired the central idea for AECOM’s design. Istanbul’s cityscape of domes is known worldwide for its scope and beauty, and combining this theme with the newly planned Pedestrian Subsea Tunnel between Kabatas and Uskudar created the potential for a new architectural wonder.
The two-kilometre long pedestrian tunnel will provide a strategic and environmentally sustainable new link for the city that will help promote walking and reduce road congestion. High-speed travellators will enhance movement on the upper pedestrian concourse deck, while an e-vehicle and bicycle route will be incorporated beneath. In addition to the practical elements of the design, AECOM have included innovative features that add significantly to the experience.
At the midpoint between Europe and Asia, the pedestrian concourse splits into two levels to create a compelling exhibition and dwelling space with a video projection wall – an opportunity to celebrate this important geographical and historic border point. Bringing excitement and a sense of adventure, the roof of the tunnel includes a series of features which reinterpret the traditional dome and add a contemporary feel to the space. This vault also includes an integrated artificial daylight system so that walking through the tunnel becomes a journey of discovery.