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Zaha Hadid has won an international competition with this fl uid-looking masterplan for the east bank of Istanbul's River Bosphorus. The architect, working with long-term director Patrik Schumacher, has remodelled an abandoned industrial site in the Turkish city into a new 'city centre'. According to Hadid, a 'soft grid' underlies the plans, which rise up to form a network of towers in some places, but 'completely fade away' in others, to generate parks and other open spaces. Some areas of the proposal for the Greater Istanbul Municipality extend out into the water, creating a 'matrix' of floating marinas, shops and restaurants on the river.

The 555ha masterplan includes room for a central business district, a luxury residential development, concert halls, museums, theatres, and a marina. Different building typologies respond to the varied demands of each district. The fabric of the design allows for a 'smooth transition' between areas outside the masterplan and Hadid's high-density developments. It is able to deal with detached buildings and blocks alike, the architect claims. The site lies at the meeting point of several infrastructural links, including the main highway connecting Istanbul to Europe and Asia, a coastal highway, and two types of rail link.

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