Bandirma Park by NoRA

  • Architect: NoRA
  • Location: Balikesir, Turkey
  • Program: Design Institute, Retail, 5 star hotel & convention centre, 4 star hotel
  • Area: 60 000 m2 GFA
  • Client: Balikesir Municipality
  • Status: Competition, 2017
  • Collaborators:
    • Landscape Architect: Inlandsis
    • Visualizations: Ananas

The historical ruins lay on the plateau at the heart of the site. Strictly aligned along a grid reminiscent of their military past, the ruins hold the key to the park’s future.

As such, the central plateau provides the natural location for a focused central hub that revolves around the Design Institute, the signature program of the Bandirma Park: Design Laboratory. A large canopy hovers over the institute; the repurposed ruins as well as the open landscape Laboratory, providing a variety of sheltered spaces and conditions for interaction and creative production. Significant public spaces engage with the prototyping and exhibition activities of the institute and profit from spectacular views out to sea and across to the city.

Encompassing the design Lab, an active circular promenade follows the ridge landscape. A scenographic sequence of views is strategically staged. The wide path interconnects the advantageously positioned watchtowers and links different areas of the park. The watchtowers are reconfigured to incorporate a range of new programmatic features; they stage points of convergence between the recreational park and the design Lab.

The recreational park embraces the topography of the site and stretches across the hillside reaching to the new parkway and the new docks entrance. Within a sequence of woodland glades a range of leisure facilities are integrated, including open park meadows, Mediterranean gardens, playgrounds, and neighbourhood allotments.

The two hotels act as bookends to this development. The 5* Hotel – located at the West Entrance – is envisioned as a single-loaded building that gives every room a view to the sea. Its integrated Convention Centre maintains a strong synergy with the Design Core nearby. The 4* Hotel is positioned within the recreational park, on the south-eastern hillside. Its triangular shape engages with its contrasted environment providing views to the park, the old city and the sea.

The retail cements these different components. Two typologies address two opposite conditions: On the plateau, the retail surrounds the Design Institute and its canopy as smaller square units, organized on the military grid, their orthogonal pattern not unlike an open-air market. On the eastern hillside, signalling the park’s main entrance and forming a critical mass to interface with the adjacent harbour, the retail is designed as terraced long bands partially embedded into the natural topography.