SHOPPING FACILITIES AS THE NEW COMMUNITY CENTERS OF OUR ERA
A large, densely populated middle class residential area of İstanbul, between the E5 main road and the coast of the Sea of Marmara, Bakırköy is an important shopping and commercial center for İstanbul, especially considering the spatial distribution of shopping malls with respect to population. Today, Shopping malls are no longer simply a collection of retail outlets but a meeting point with many other attractions. In short they have become a major recreational focus and the means to regenerate urban communities. As an alternative to frequency of shopping centres and existing characteristics of trade areas in the region, Marmara Forum is a unique and compact festival market place, which would grab the imagination of citizens of all age and style, not only shoppers. The new image is not only offering the goods to buy but also it becomes a new gathering zone for social motives. The project is a good example of the qualities inspired by the people of all standards, especially families. Whereas the inhabitants in the catchment area is approximately 1,500,000, designed to be inclusive and to attract a broad spectrum of socio-economic groups by introducing a variety of activities, Forum Marmara will receive visitors from all regions of İstanbul. Being surrounded by the main access routes of the city, it is anticipated that the size, visibility and transparency will also encourage passers-by to enter. The urban mall connects with the city both visually and physically. In terms of aesthetics and functionality, the project is conceptually innovative yet financially feasible which is proved on a number of occasions. As to the interior of the mall, the landscaped public space is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and is designed to attract families and to extend the appeal of a shopping trip. The roof terrace above the shopping facility provides an elevated viewing platform with a wide panorama of Sea of Marmara and the cityscape.