Pandemics and Health Workers Memorial Design Competition


1.1 Concerns of the Epidemic, Health, Labor Relationship over the City

Rethinking the epidemic x society relationship in the current conjuncture reminds us of the city’s connection with Water. Water with hygiene, hygiene with the epidemic, and all the social clues included in the pandemics. As a water city, it is impossible to think of Istanbul independently of its hydrological. Infrastructure in this context, as mentioned in Urban Narrative.

Designed for rainwater flowing, accumulating, and marking the Garden of Remembrance. In the project proposal, Water Trace is the unifier of shattered memories, the pure image of the sanctity of labor.

1.2 Outbreaks and Implications of the Health Workers Remembrance Venue/Action

The scope of the establishment of the Epidemics and Health Workers Commemoration Space, which is the subject of the project, makes one question whether the actions to commemorate the epidemic and the Health Workers should be considered in a single place or separately. Although a current piece has been adding to the history of COVID19 Outbreaks, we find it suitable to look at the outbreaks in terms of the traces they have transformed and left in human history for landscape drawing.

On the extra hand, we would fancy thanking the Health Workers to save humanity invisibly and alone in the days. Both the sameness and dissimilarity of these two subjects reflect in the space in a fragmented and holistic way. In a reality where the City and the Pandemic cannot be separate like Health and Labor, the Place of Remembrance is designed to work both partially (Gardens) and holistically (Unifying Trace of Water from the Urban Narrative). Like the most fundamental reality that Pandemic reminds us, we can live separately but only together are we strong.


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1.3 Translation of Memory of Place: Trace of Water, Shadow of Memory

When we look closely at the health memory of the project area, we see that it has a recent history that has sunk into oblivion for some of us. It can cause deep anger that will not be forgotten and will continue for generations. We see the role of design as following the traces and constructing narratives (physical or intellectual) that can trigger different associations, deepen the meaning as we look, and offer experiences that allow for spiritual bonds, whether the place is a monument or not. In this respect, we see it as our primary responsibility to interpret and remind the historical and ecological identity of the area that it does not want to lose. Translation of the Memory of Place constitutes the last link of our project proposal, Gardens of Memory, based on Urban and Spatial Narratives.

1.4 The First Symbol of Unity in the City: Agora

Remembering that we are strong only in unity during the epidemic led the project to consider the first forms of assembly areas and examine. These spaces’ essential components and proportions. “Agora”, which also means the square and gathering place in the ancient Greek city for various purposes, came to the fore in this direction and became a part of the conceptual theme of the project by combining with the urban narrative.

The agora was also used as a place of public discussion, worship, and market in the Past. The project approach attaches importance to the integrity and centrality of the Maçka-Harbiye and Takis-Gezi Park corridor, where it is locating. It determines as a design strategy to remind the unifying power of these areas in terms of the region’s development. For this reason, it references the unifying force of the agora, which has existed since ancient times. It spatializes the commemoration of Health Workers and, accordingly, epidemics with this historical reference.


2.1 Shadow of Memory (Narrative Fringe)

We remembered the vital importance of social solidarity that we could only exist in conditions of unity and solidarity during the epidemic; we can only fight not with unity, but mostly. Narrative Fringe reminds us of this unity and togetherness that we are nothing on our own but strong side by side, elbow to elbow. This image, which is the common point of all epidemics throughout history, tells and reminds the history of Epidemics throughout its continuing trace. The common area surrounding the history of outbreaks forms the Garden of Remembrance, the memorial landscape dedicated to Health Workers.

2.2 Hydro-path (Track of Flowing Water)

The meaning of the water story is mentioned in the Urban and Spatial Narrative in every frame. Transfer to the project area as a Unifying Trace. The hydro-path carries the hydrological logic of the topography stretching from Gezi Park and Herbie. The Hydro-path, which appears in places as surface drainage and underground drainage, continues as a hidden infrastructure element in places, feeds the Water by carrying it, marks the memorial site, and thanks to the health workers.

2.3 Traces of Labor (Rain Gardens Commemorating Health Workers)

It is tough to express the Health Workers who lost their lives in the fight against it. For example, we think it would be a betrayal to the conceptual structure of the subject, not to mention. The names of hundreds of healthcare workers who lost their lives in addition to the 98 physicians. In this honor, we attach weight to the fact individual the commemoration of the Health Workers.

A living landscape, a site that is feeding with Water, nourishes, blooms with spring, fades with autumn. We had a hard time finding a more accurate, more concrete, and more life-affirming form to express the sanctity of labor. In this respect, the rain gardens, which complete the story of all Water Traces, settle in the gaps left by the existing tree texture and merge with the flow trace of the Water. Continues to live and let live. Endless thanks to the Health Workers and this effort that will never fade.

2.4 Communication of the Garden of Remembrance with its Visitors (Explanatory Texts)

The project’s essential destination is to assure the transparency and intelligibility of the visitors’ relationship with the Garden of Remembrance. The physical expression of the memorial site, with all its components and infrastructure. Its place and importance in the history and memory of the city and its ecology. In this respect, explanations sharing the conceptual and physical structure, technology, usage rules of the project, routing design, graphic design, and content should meet with the visitor directly. Public space is ultimately a space of sharing, learning, and existence. The Garden of Memory, our proposal for the project area located in the region, which is the most potent symbol of public life in Istanbul, also bears this responsibility and spatializes it.

There are three different narrative plots on the walking route along the Narrative Fringe.

Garden of Memory Information Panel

This Garden of Memory is dedicating to all health workers fighting for humanity. Especially during the Covid-19 process that has surrounded our world as of 2019.

When infectious diseases moved to global dimensions, they left deep traces in human history and changed the historical flow. While the history of epidemics dates back to ancient times, many outbreaks have been effective, especially in Istanbul, including plague, smallpox, cholera, the Spanish Flu, and the last we know closely, COVID-19.

The area you are in now is an old cemetery dating back to the 1500s due to the increase. The room was allocated to Armenians by Suleiman the Magnificent to bury those who died. It has been using as an Armenian Cemetery for many years. During the reign of Mahut I, Takis Waterway became the focus of disease in the cholera epidemic to meet the region’s water needs. The Spirit Level, located right at the park entrance, is one of the critical points on the “Beyale Water Line”.

Shadow of Memory (Narrative Fringe)

Information from the history of the epidemic and quotations from health workers are intertwined. Information from the history of the epidemic scattered along the fringe represents the cyclicity of history. It is an expression that is neither the first nor the last and can defeat it only in unity.

Hydro-path (Trace of Flowing Water)

Takis Maksim was building in the 1730s for water distribution. Since it is the region’s highest point, the incoming water line is distributing to the area. Water is the most basic need and symbol of life, hygiene, and health. The hydropath, which facilitates the flow of Water, connects the park, which includes the Memorial Garden, with Istanbul.

Traces of Labor (Rain Gardens Dedicated to Healthcare Workers)

Today, drought and water problem due to climate change are affecting our world, making water-saving more and more vital. Rain Gardens, one of the many essential methods of managing and saving Water. Complements the water story of the area and the distinctive trace of the memorial place. Thanking Health Workers with Water, with this most vital need, is an expression of immortalizing them. Being alive with Water and fading without Water is a summary of life.

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