Architecture, Architecture commission, Concept design, GAD Architecture, Istanbul, Istanbul Media City, Masterplan, QR codes, Sustainable city

QR code patterns inspire Istanbul-based Media City by GAD Architecture

Istanbul-based GAD Architecture has designed an industrial complex called Media City, a site that supports the media industry, inspired by QR codes.

The site is located on the outskirts of the Istanbul New Airport, the city’s third airport which upon completion in 2030, is expected to be the world’s largest.

The architects have been commissioned by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce to design a site that supports the multimedia industry in Istanbul.

Designed as a self-sufficient, sustainable city, the design features cultural attractions as well as interactive planning and structures such as virtual reality museums, which allow visitors to witness the past, present and future of media.

The site also includes management offices, shops, venues for live performances, interactive museums and libraries, schools and workshops, residential amenities in addition to warehouses, factories, and printers.

During the concept development, the architects analysed a number of large historical cities with industrial roots such as Istanbul itself, as well as Paris, Rome, Barcelona and New York, which were investigated for their massing properties.

During this process, some parallels with QR codes (small shapes in a tight, frantically compressed centre with a few massive forms isolated along the perimeter) were found, the architects revealed.

This inspired the creation of modules which bear physical resemblance to the QR codes as the typology for buildings, parks, streets and other parts of Media City.

These can be repeated, manipulated, adjusted and organised along grids in a manner that resembles QR code patterns to create an urban masterplan.

“Once the designer has the modules necessary to realize the program, they are roughly placed in a basic arrangement within the site boundaries,” the architects explained.

“The modules are installed according to their typology and their role in fulfilling the program.  The module corresponding to the city centre would naturally be placed at the centre, and additional modules would be arranged similarly with respect to their shape and use.”

The architects added: “Certain modules were designed and selected with the intent of including green corridors.  Water, in the form of streams, ponds, and fountains, offer physical and psychological comfort, mediating humidity and calming the spirit.  The conservation of natural vegetation will be a high priority. Green roofs and facades will also be standard design elements of the buildings.

“Smart Energy-Water-Waste Management, Smart Transportation, and Sustainable Green Integration are keys to a responsible and eco-sensitive urban site.   Media City will implement these in its own design and will also encourage residents and users to develop behaviours that are more conscientious and forward looking.”

The project is set to utilise clean energy producing technologies in order to foster an energy saving lifestyle. Featured within the development will be solar panels and wind turbines with water management guided by preservation strategies.