Fitaş Passage
Istanbul, Turkey
SALON - Alper Derinbogaz

Bahadır Kantarcı | Egemen Onur Kaya | Cem Üstün | Öykü Arda | Ece Avcı | Gamze Kaya | Doruk Kayalı

Fitaş Passage is an adaptive re-use project for Fitaş which is built in 1960’s in İstiklal Street in Taksim, Beyoglu. The design aims to bring back the original ‘passage’ quality to Fitaş.

İstiklal Street, which has long been a significant axis in the heart of Istanbul, has itself bore witness and is a testament to the radical changes that have affected the fabric of Istanbul through urban transformation. The street used to be like a passage with the display windows and spatial diversity. Thus has a very strong interaction with its visitors. Around 1970’s, with the street opened for vehicle traffic and started making itself visible with the signboards. The changed texture of the street became a route that is being passed by, it was no longer a part of the daily life of the citizens. After that, with the changing social segments, modernizing society and touristic visitors, the entire street became a display window and Fitaș lost its distinct engagement with the street.

Built in 1960’s, Fitaș is one the most significant example of the passages that could be defined as early examples of shopping malls. But as one of the first modern shopping malls in Istanbul, Fitaș never had the opportunity to work efficient as it planned since it opened, due to the eventful history of Istiklal Street. Instead, it came to life as a cinema and an entertainment center for many years.

Fitaş Passage project aims to overcome this situation and put forward the intention of bringing back the original passageway with small interventions to its original structure. While doing this, the goal was to create a street, a bypass space that passes through the building. As the concept of passage, the project brings back the quality of being a transition space and connecting the streets. Thus, it establishes a connection between the patterns of extreme touristy on Istiklal Street and the highly isolated texture on Kurabiye Street.

Besides a single story street concept, the design proceeds with the idea consisting of many floors and layers. The passage is designed with the idea of creating a closed square and with the shops that are open to it, concert and event halls. It reminds the urban space at the entrance of the passage as in the original of Fitaş, with a gallery space.

The facade of Fitaş Passage refers to the signboards that form Istiklal Street in its old years. It is designed with angled vertical panels, by considering not only the frontal view but also the perceived view while walking on the street. The design of the façade intends to create a flow from the street into the structure and provide an integration of İstiklal Street and back street.

The new façade of Fitaş Passage brings itself to the street, not only as seperate façade elements, but also as a place producing a new type of space. The openings on façade is designed considering the functions inside the building. In order to emphasize the perception of the street in the building and make people experience the street in each floor, the windows were oriented in an order that provides looks to the street from different angles.

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