The first project of the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program

  • Published by Vedat
The first temporary installation of the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program is now open to visitors in the museum’s courtyard.

YAP Istanbul Modern is carried out by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 and co-sponsored by Garanti Bank, Polimeks, and VitrA.

Designed and constructed by SO? Architecture and Ideas, “Sky Spotting Stop” welcomes visitors of all ages free of charge in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard between 25 June and 20 October 2013. Starting in July, this area is also used as a venue for events programmed by Istanbul Modern especially for younger audiences.


Furthermore, Istanbul Modern has conceived an international show in its pop-up exhibition area on the 15-year history of the YAP: Young Architects Program and the designs of the 20 finalists invited to the program in 2013 by MoMA PS1, CONSTRUCTO, MAXXI, and Istanbul Modern. Curated by Çelenk Bafra and Pelin Derviş, the exhibition features videos, photographs, and models of the projects as well as a ‘making-of’ video of “Sky Spotting Stop”.

The aim of the YAP: Young Architects Program is to encourage architects to address environmental issues such as sustainability, re-use, and re-cycling, and to explore innovative design ideas providing elements of shade, water, and seating that increase the possibilities of use of open-air spaces. Providing a popular urban venue for the summer, these designs are expected to host diverse events and create intimate social spaces for city-dwellers―all through solutions that are architecturally and financially feasible.

“Sky Spotting Stop”

Designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas (Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş), YAP Istanbul Modern’s first project “Sky Spotting Stop” takes its name from the title of a poem by Turgut Uyar (“Göğe Bakma Durağı”, Dünyanın En Güzel Arabistanı). “Sky Spotting Stop” shades the courtyard of Istanbul Modern while floating gently on the hidden waters of the Bosphorus, projecting its host space upon the city. Thanks to the structural characteristics of the courtyard and the warehouse in which the museum is located, the motion of the waves is transferred to the movement of the architectural elements. The courtyard, situated right by the shore but disconnected from it by a customs zone, is defined anew by the shading elements supported by buoys floating in the water right beneath the courtyard. The courtyard becomes part of the skyline through this ephemeral, though lively, addition, which is visible both from the Bosphorus and the highest points of the city. Visitors in the courtyard can spend time under the undulating shade during the day and among the varying reflections after nightfall. The various uses of the courtyard are shaped by elements made from re-used materials; re-used vehicle tires covered with fishnets become lightweight, sturdy, portable units. The altering landscape that emerges and the constantly moving canopies transform the courtyard into a new stop in the city for resting, gathering, playing, or “sky spotting.”

YAP Istanbul Modern Events

Within the scope of the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program, Istanbul Modern hosts a series of special events in its courtyard in July. On July 4, there will be an Istanbul Jazz Festival concert by the To Be Continued Brass Band at 18:30. The dance company Atmasyon Dans Kumpanyası will make performances titled Intellectual Amusement & Le Faune on July 5 at 14:00 and Sufle on July 6 at 17:00. On July 11 at 18:00, the museum will host a performance specially designed for “Sky Spotting Stop” by boDig, an art initiative that combines expression for the body and visual arts.

Istanbul Modern partners an international architecture event, Thinking The Edge–Water & Culture, in which students and actors of the architecture scene will attend panels, discussions and workshops at Istanbul Modern on July 2, 3, 4, and 9.

On July 11, 12 and 13, the YAP Istanbul Modern presents a selection of three films from Turkish Fantastic cinema. In collaboration with Sinema TV, every evening a different fantastic Turkish film will be screened in the open-air cinema at Istanbul Modern’s courtyard at 21:30 (The ticket price is 8TL).

On July 14, Istanbul Modern will show the documentary Jazz in Turkey? as part of the 20th Istanbul Jazz Festival program at 21:30 in the open-air cinema.

YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program

Initiated by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with MoMA/MoMA PS1, the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program is held biannually during the summer and offers young emerging architects the opportunity to design a temporary installation in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard.

The YAP: Young Architects Program began in 1998 in MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York and became international with the participation of CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile in 2010 and the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome in 2011. In 2012, MoMA/MoMA PS1 invited the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey to join the program and further expand it. Istanbul Modern’s sculpture garden and the gravel area on the filled ground in the courtyard of the museum―itself situated in one of the warehouses designed by Sedad Hakkı Eldem―was selected as the project site for YAP Istanbul Modern. The jury, which came together to select the winning project, was formed of architectural experts and representatives from Istanbul Modern and the other YAP: Young Architects Programs. From among the proposals of the five finalists the jury selected the project “Sky Spotting Stop” designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas.

Nominators from across Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus were contacted. These included academicians from schools of architecture, architectural critics, members of periodical publications, and representatives of professional organizations, such as the Chamber of Architects and the Association of Architects in Private Practice. On 26 November 2012, 5 finalists were selected from among the 35 young candidates put forth by these nominators, who assessed the candidates’ portfolios. The finalists were then asked to develop proposals for a temporary installation for Istanbul Modern’s courtyard in line with the principles of the program. The jury convened once more on 1 February 2013 to assess these proposals.

Presided by Suha Özkan (architect), the jury consisted of Emre Arolat (architect), Çelenk Bafra (Curator, Istanbul Modern), Barry Bergdoll (The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA), Pippo Ciorra (Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura), Levent Çalıkoğlu (Chief Curator, Istanbul Modern), Pelin Derviş (YAP Istanbul Modern Coordinator), Oya Eczacıbaşı (Chair of the Board, Istanbul Modern), Cevdet Erek (artist / architect), Pedro Gadanho (Curator of Contemporary Architecture, MoMA), Melkan Tabanlıoğlu (architect), and Han Tümertekin (architect).

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