How might earthquake readiness inform architectural landmarks?

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality
Turan, Izmir, Türkiye


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?

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We are living in a volatile and complex world. Climate change, energy crises, economic downturns, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing natural disasters push us architects to reconsider our design priorities. 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.

SOUR’s proposal for Izmir Sustainability Center, SAL, is designed as Turkiye’s first floating public building. Through its floating structure, SAL significantly reduces embodied carbon footprint, responds to rising sea levels, and avoids earthquake loads and ground improvements on a site with a high risk of liquefaction. By tapping into Izmir’s traditional shipbuilding know-how, SAL aims to answer future problems in 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 Turkiye’s first carbon-negative public structure that serves as an educational and recreational venue, serving Izmir’s socio-cultural, environmental, and climate database.

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Project Info
Project Name:
Turan, Izmir, Türkiye
5885 m2
Concept Design
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality
Public (Administrative) Building
Floating Architecture, Sustainable Architecture
Project Credits
Inanc Eray - SOUR (Architect, Designer), Jelle Vedders - Bartels & Vedders (Floating Structures Engineer)
Design Team:
Pinar Guvenc, Merve Güven, Merve Akbay, Pınar Gürsoy, Nicholas Doghlass, Derin Şahin, Marianne de Zeeuw, Gamze Gürgenç, İrem Göçmenoğlu, Joyce Lai, Kadija Fadil Bayero, Hitakshi Agrawal, Şevki Yapıcı

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 - 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 - Buro Happold

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

Makett Model Maker:

Sebahattin Uzgor - ModelArt