• The Pazar: The Urban and Tectonic Structures of Istanbul's Open Markets
    Alexis A. Sanal

Alexis Sanal, Pazar structures, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey. Courtesy of SANALarc.

Turkey's street markets, the pazar, penetrate every neighborhood one day per week for centuries. Yet, neither this ephemeral marketplace nor the man-made generative structure that defines its practice has changed with any significance despite social, cultural, and technological changes. The pazar's fundamental practice of placemaking, in its absolute agility, simplicity and responses to terrain and climate, has been nearly perfected, along with the choreography of set up and take down. The structure distinctively practices cocreation using forces of kinetics and redundancy to create compact or expansive markets. Unique to other open markets is the use of passive open space, like local streets, watersheds, or residual land, but never active public space, like parks or public squares. The insights of this research offer new more agile approaches to city spatial design for contemporary open-air exchanges as well as new directions in man-made generative structures for ephemeral placemaking architecture.

Alexis Sanal's vision of a streamlined relationship between people and the design of their environments is manifested in her academic and professional pursuits. She received her BArch from SCI-Arc (1995) and her MCP, for which she was awarded the outstanding thesis prize, from MIT (2002). She worked in various innovative architecture studios in Los Angeles before moving to Istanbul in 2002. Sanal is currently a partner at SANALarc, a knowledge-centric architecture and urban design practice based in Istanbul, founded in 2002. Her passion is for cultural and civic environments that blend digital socioculture intelligently with the physical and natural environment. Sanal continues to do research with New Centuries Cities Group, teaches design in ITÜ's Faculty of Architecture and Industrial Design, and was visiting fellow at the University of Queensland (2007). Both her studio's design work and research work have been published and she has received various awards from her community, including: the Arkitera Young Architect Award Jury Selection (2012), the Marvin E. Goody Award (2002), and the Wallace Floyd Urban Design Award, (2001).