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read about the Concrete Design Master Class 2010
Concrete in Istanbul - 4th Concrete Design Master Class led by Valerio Olgiati
The 4th concrete design master class took place during the last week of August 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey. During the one week event, led by Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati, 22 students gathered to work on exploring the potential of concrete in the city of Istanbul. Valerio Olgiati started the master class with a lecture introducing the students to his architectural practice. His ambitions, visions and position towards architecture and engineering were presented through a selection of his concrete works.
Valerio Olgiati's aim for the master class was to search for, discuss and document the city's use of concrete. The process of the master class was based on three criteria; a project's obvious exploitation of characteristic concrete properties - including execution and appearance, the prototypical quality of a project presenting a specific Istanbul typology, or the undeniable presence of amazement, bewilderment or sheer respect: the 'wow-factor'.
Equipped with cameras the participants walked the city in pairs in search of concrete. Each pair covered a specific sector of the centre of Istanbul. Including both sides of the Golden Horn as well as part of Asian Istanbul on the east side of the Bosporus. All concrete projects - which could range from urban furniture, to structural applications and from detailed ornaments to the practical means of working with concrete - had to be documented through a maximum of three images. No textual explanation should be needed to understand the nature and impact of the projects.
During a day-long critique all projects found were discussed at length in order to define their position in relation to the three criteria mentioned above. A critique that aimed to place the projects not only securely into the framework of the master class itself, but also to activate discussions on more general architectural topics, specific technical possibilities of the material concrete and the required ambitions and skills of architects in order to deliver fabulous works. The discussion's intention was to improve the focus where necessary and to gain an overall understanding of the state of concrete in Istanbul for those present, as well. Out of the presented projects a selection was made through a process of voting and further debating which led to this publication. Its aim is not to deliver a complete guide of all concrete to be found in Istanbul, nor does it aspire to represent the city's urban and architectural developments. It offers a view into a fascinating and exciting metropolis documenting its concrete nature through projects that inspire, amaze and sometimes simply had to be included for no other reason than of what they are.
This Master Class was the final part of the Concrete Design Competition on Monolithic 2009-2010. It is the 4th biennial cycle initiated and funded by a consortium of European cement and concrete associations. Curated by Valerio Olgiati architecture and engineering students were invited to explore and exploit the monolithic properties of concrete as well as its versatility. The entries had to present their ideas through architectural designs that were reviewed by nationally organised juries. All national winners were invited to take part in the master class in Istanbul.
Sunday August 22: Meeting participants, organisers, tutors and curator
Monday August 23: Valerio Olgiati & introducing the ambitions of the week
Tuesday August 24: Walking the city in search of concrete
Wednesday August 25: Walking the city 2
Thursday August 26: debating and selecting projects for the book; architecture, concrete and craftmenship
Friday August 27: Production, Production, Production...
Saturday August 28: final presentation & the books!