REPUBLIC SQUARE AND TOPHANE TEA GARDEN (ANTALYA)
Republic (Cumhuriyet) square and Tophane tea garden are among the significant urban foci in the urban memory of Antalya. The location and function of the square and the immediate surrounding grant privilege to this urban space. The site housed the Governor's Office and some other governmental buildings for more than hundred years and thus acted as a meeting place for hosting several official ceremonies and public events. It is situated next to the historical Old Town area serving as a gate and has a panoramic view of both the Old Town and the sea. In recent years, however, the area has become problematic in a number ways. The square became inefficient in terms of its current use and size and the pedestrian circulation does not have a homogeneous spread. Several architectural and spatial interventions are done in the past to the historical Tophane tea garden located inside the square, which resulted in a negative place identity, problematic in terms of aesthetics, authenticity and preservation. The renovation project in this sense, aimed to remove the artificial barriers, ease and direct the pedestrian movement in the square to make it a comfortable and pleasant urban experience, to provide shade and landscaping to introduce climatic comfort, to trigger its use as a positive urban space, to enrich the social and leisure functions served by the area, and to strengthen the view towards the Kaleiçi (Old Town) and the Mediterranean.
The square was re-planned according to the topography and is composed of different levels connected with ramps and steps. It is enlarged towards the southwest and the extension is used to create a viewing terrace over the cliffs. The resulting lower elevation created by the extension is utilized to place newly arranged commercial units and public WCs. As such it became also possible to remove the currently used low-quality commercial units that created an unpleasant urban mess. The stepped ramp proposed in between the levels provided a more comfortable circulation. This new arrangement, in addition, enabled to get more of the sea view from the sidewalk level down to the lower square level.
The Tophane tea garden, a historical social spot, is located also at the lower level. A protective structure in the tea garden it is renovated to receive a modern and more pleasing look in terms of its material qualities and modesty. The roof of the structure is repaired and received pantiles and a new wooden raised floor is applied to protect the historical layer below. A glass floor makes the historical layer partially visible as an archaeological spot, which is also marked by an information board.
Achieving a unified urban space in between different levels is one of the main objectives of the projects. Use of natural stones like diabase and Isparta andesite as the pavement materials at all levels helped to provide this continuity and offered a continuous hard landscaping with seating opportunities. The improvement of the pedestrian downhill access to the port by a new pavement and landscaping highlighted the connection of the site to the sea level.
The present trees in the square are preserved; only those (10 in number) that affected the new layout are removed and re-planted elsewhere. Linear built-in floor lighting is applied to maintain the use of the square at nighttime and also to add a decorative aspect. The site offers a disabled guidance system and is suitable to be used for all visitors.
ANTEPE Construction is a shareholder company of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality. It covers all types of public services in the province of Antalya including trade, industrial and agricultural production, tourism, architecture, and engineering. It initiated and realized several progressive projects (urban transformation, recreation areas, and landscape, cultural buildings, housing, education buildings, religious buildings, sport and entertainment complexes, transportation) in urban and architectural scale that offers creative solutions which are sensitive to the environment and economical.
The firm acted as a contractor in some projects and make partnerships with architectural offices. Our priority is to produce and realize projects for public benefit. We value the urban sustainability and produce projects that respect the urban identity and progressive in approach and content.