‘Yalikavak Palmarina’, a marina development by Emre Arolat Architects combines architecture with the natural landscape in a language inspired by the local style present on the beautiful Turkish Riviera.
Istanbul based Emre Arolat Architects (EAA) have designed a marine development project in Yalikavak on the Turkish Riviera that has attracted yachters and design lovers alike. Titled Yalikavak Palmarina, the development designed in phases, aims to bridge the ‘outsiders’ and the locals by presenting many facilities to the local population while also extending the pre-existing harbour.
The first phase of the master plan includes an island, while the second stage focused on the marina shoreline development. The ‘island’ left empty by the previous owner had a narrow pedestrian connection, which the EAA team redesigned, giving it a new revolutionary character.
The new link from the mainland, thought of as a ‘harbour extension’, facilitates easy docking of yachts, and the luxuries of restaurants, shops and other services for visitors to enjoy.
“The main motivation for the design of the ‘island’ was to search for the possibility of reconciling the needs of the visitors with those of the locals of Yalikavak as a Mediterranean settlement,” explain the team. Hence the structures and building on the island reflect the region’s characteristics, trying to blend seamlessly into the terrain.
The architects detail the design, “Instead of a generic design that can easily become an alienated object for this place, the architecture was derived from the local character. It was interpreted as a composition of masses with different heights, merging with the landscape and the sea, and has integrated well with the place.”
The stone pathways of Priene Theatre, St Gimiano, Rhodes and other ancient cities became the muse for the architectural style used on the island and the shoreline development. A grid layout neatly composes the open, semi-open and closed spaces, while a linear wall has been included to sometimes become a separator between spaces and other times an indicator.
This layout creates a central space between the linear wall and structural masses, which has been conceived as a gathering space by the architecture team. The cut-outs on the linear wall and other masses provide new views and vistas when we look across the sea to the mountains beyond. The final touch to this Mediterranean appeal is a watch tower, much like the ruins of Stgimiano and Rodos.
Travertine stone has been used as the cladding material for the entire complex, rendering the complete plan in the same stroke, thus unifying the design. The architects chip in, “Following the ancient cities like Kos, Rhodes and Siena, clad in one material, we used travertine to render the whole complex.”
As a form, the structural composition blends into the Turkish surroundings and the sandy brown colour also becomes indistinguishable from the local landscape.
The second phase focusing on the shoreline development has shops, retail stores and other structures along the coast. A continuous shaded path is created along the shoreline by large dramatic overhangs from the outlets and colonnades alongside some shops.
Point out the EAA team, “All the shops are fragmented in planning and the overhangs are designed in different levels overlapping each other in order to keep to the building scale.” Sticking to travertine as a unifying design element, most of the vertical and horizontal planes are clad in the sandy brown stone broken only by the glazed volumes of shop windows.
‘Mediterranean aura’ as described by Emre Arolat Architects resonates through the large overhangs and singular cladding. The later phase also caters to a boutique hotel, spa and fitness centre, offices, storage facilities and a shipyard for boat repairs, thus eventually making the marina self sufficient.
It is said that on the Turquoise Coast the Mediterranean meets the Aegean, and the sun rises and sets over breathtaking views. Doing justice to such natural beauty, the ‘Yalikavak Palmarina’ tries to present a new lifestyle by blending the architecture into the landscape, thereby providing all visitors and locals with an unforgettable and rich experience, much like the tradition seen on the Mediterranean.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Courtesy The Architects