SOUR Awarded Honourable Mention by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality (Turkiye) for New Sustainability Center

November 1, 2023

How might earthquake readiness inform architectural landmarks?

SOUR joined forces with Bartels & Vedders and numerous collaborators on the proposal for Izmir Sustainability Center: SAL - designed as Türkiye’s first floating public building. Through its floating structure, SAL is an answer to the need for constructing earthquake resilient buildings. In addition to avoiding earthquake loads and ground improvements on a site with a high risk of liquefaction, SAL significantly reduces embodied carbon footprint and responds to rising sea levels. By tapping into Izmir’s traditional shipbuilding know-how, SAL aims to answer future problems related to natural disasters, energy transition, port relocation, and climate change.

SAL is designed as a journey between modern and traditional, local and global, calm and bold. It provides viable yet elegant solutions to energy and water usage, material and resource wastage, supply chain inefficiencies, and embodied carbon footprint. It is a self-sufficient structure that can sail to different ports, becoming a traveling landmark within the city’s public infrastructure.

SAL is Türkiye’s first carbon-negative public structure that serves as an educational and recreational venue, serving Izmir’s socio-cultural, environmental, and climate database. In order to address the urgent need to create equitable, resilient, and nature-centered cities, we need to change how we practice architecture and set new standards for the construction industry.

Building on a site that is at high risk of and requires extensive ground improvements, how might we create a substructure that is naturally isolated from earthquake loads, floods, and rising sea levels?

How might we rethink the ground conditions to minimize the impacts of earthquakes? Is it possible to have a building with no foundation?

How might we tap into the shipbuilding industry that Izmir is traditionally good at, to solve future problems of energy transition, port relocation, and climate change at once?

How might we take the first step towards a future floating city for Izmir?

For more information visit: 

To see all winning entries, visit: 

We again want to express our gratitude to all collaborators on this project:

Architect: SOUR 

Design: İnanç Eray - Architect, Designer
Floating Structure Engineer: Jelle Vedders - Bartels & Vedders

Design Team

Pinar Güvenç, Design Strategy, Inclusive Design Expert

Merve Güven, Architect

Merve Akbay, Architect

Pınar Gürsoy, Architect

Nicholas Doghlass, Architect, Illustrator

Derin Şahin, Industrial Product Designer, Illustrator

Marianne de Zeeuw, Art Historian, Design Researcher

Gamze Gürgenç, Art Historian, Design Researcher

İrem Göçmenoğlu, Communication Designer

Joyce Lai, Design Researcher

Kadija Fadil Bayero, Architecture Student, Intern

Hitakshi Agrawal, Architecture Student, Intern

Şevki Yapıcı, Architect, Intern

Structural Design:

Super Structure - Mustafa Adnan Ogut - Emir Mühendislik

Floatıng Structures - Jelle Vedders - Bartels & Vedders 

Ship Building Design - Samet Karaçoban - Karaçoban Engineering 

Soil and Ground - Fatih Kulaç - Zetaş AŞ 

Structural Timber - Prof. Dr. Demet Sürücü - Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi 

Mechanical & Plumbing Design: 

Orhan Murat Gunson - GMD Moskay

Serhan Mumcu - GMD Moskay 

Electrical Design: 

Ozlem Dilda Yaman - Erke Tasarım 

Kemal Ovacık - Ovacık Mühendislik 

Fire Consultancy: 

Zeynep Odabaş - Zeytin Danışmanlık

Sustainability Consultancy

ESG - Jack Rose - Buro Happold 

Carbon Footprint - Dr. Natasha Watson - Buro Happold 

Design Technology & Innovation - Wolf Mangelsdorf - 

Building Performance Simulations - Mehmet Okumus - Mas Dynamics 

Sustainability Framework - Cemil Yaman - Erke Tasarım

Regenerative Design Framework - Prof. Dr. Aysu Kuru - University of Sydney 

Urban Design & Planning Consultancy

Prof. Dr. Züleyha Sara Belge - Mersin Üniversitesi 

Cost Consultancy: 

Ahmet Güngör

Lighting Design 

Korhan Sisman - Planlux
Didem Çarçak Erden - Planlux 


David Rossman - Felix Render

Model Maker:

Sebahattin Uzgor - ModelArt


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