‘Seagull-shaped’ transfer center in Istanbul’s Kabataş to include cafes, market, art gallery

‘Seagull-shaped’ transfer center in Istanbul’s Kabataş to include cafes, market, art gallery

Fatma Aksu – ISTANBUL
‘Seagull-shaped’ transfer center in Istanbul’s Kabataş to include cafes, market, art gallery Cafes, a market selling fruits and vegetables, an art gallery and second-hand booksellers will be included within the “seagull-shaped” transfer center currently under construction in Istanbul’s Kabataş on the European side. 

The transfer center, which is expected to integrate sea and road traffic with the city’s rail system, also including a tunnel under the Bosphorus allowing pedestrians to cross the waterway on foot, is being built on a 100,000-meter square area. 

As part of the project launched by the Istanbul Municipality and designed by the architect Hakan Kıran, an area of the Bosphorus amounting to 11,243 square meters will be filled up with concrete. As a result, the total “filled” area in the overall project will be 19,230 square meters, including docks and piers.

The project will connect Kabataş to Üsküdar on the Asian side with an underwater pedestrian and bicycle tunnel. There will also be two underground floors under the Kabataş Square, one containing parking lots and technical areas and the other containing a funicular railway, a public transport linking road, and 12 shops including a market, cafes, second-hand booksellers and an art gallery. 

The top floor of the current funicular station in Kabataş leading to Taksim Square will be demolished in order for the vehicles to pass. The tramway, meanwhile, will be on the top and out in the open air. 

The subway station under the square will be constructed 40 meters underground. Those who get off the subway will reach the lower square via a moving stairway. Bus and taxi stations and a parking lot will be included in this area.

Meanwhile, concerts and events for New Year’s Eve and Ramadan will be able to be organized in the open square. 

‘Seagull-shaped’ transfer center in Istanbul’s Kabataş to include cafes, market, art gallery

The passenger capacity of the ferry port will be increased by 80 percent and there will be a total of four ports. The main port will provide service for a city line, two ports will be used by small ferries, and the port closest to Karaköy will be reserved for sea buses.  

The vehicles of tour operators that currently wait in the area in front of Dolmabahçe Palace will be transferred to the parking lot under the Kabataş Square, which will have the capacity to hold a total of 22 buses. 

The car park, which will be run by Istanbul municipality’s parking lot operator İSPARK, will be 25,000 square meters overall and be able to hold 527 vehicles. A 3,300-square meter parking lot will also be constructed for tour buses, and people commuting to the Asian side will be able to leave their cars in that parking lot. 

The project includes the protection of historic artifacts in the area including the Molla Çelebi Mosque, the Hekimoğlu Ali Paşa Fountain, the tomb of Çizmeci Başı Mahmut Ağa, the Koca Yusuf Paşa Fountain, the Şeyhülislam Esad Fountain and the Hadika Stone (Kabataş epitaph). 

Fountains in the square will remain in their current spots, while the area surrounding the Molla Çelebi Mosque will be widened. 

According the report prepared by Prof. Hüseyin Dirik and Prof. Kamil Şengönül the tree inventory in the project includes a total of 510 trees between five and 100 years old. In addition, ready grown trees will also be added to the area.