20 March 2017 – AECOM has won the Future Projects Transport category at the World Architecture News (WAN) 2016 awards for its design of the world’s first undersea pedestrian tunnel in Istanbul, Turkey. AECOM’s winning design, called ‘Underwater Domes of Istanbul’, was chosen from a shortlist of six entries by an expert judging panel, who commended the scheme’s approach to a new pedestrian route that would result in an intriguing and inviting location to visit in its own right.
AECOM’s design for the two-kilometre long pedestrian tunnel under the Bosphorus was inspired by Istanbul’s eclectic culture, with domes along the walkway echoing the city’s architecture. The tunnel will be equipped with modern high-speed travellators on an upper pedestrian concourse deck, with an e-vehicle and bicycle route beneath. At the midpoint between Europe and Asia, the pedestrian concourse splits into two levels to create a compelling exhibition and dwelling space. The design includes an integrated artificial daylight system so that walking through the tunnel becomes an adventure and a pleasure. Lighting options include following the natural daylight cycle or incorporating colourful pattern projections, giving options such as creating a festive atmosphere or a sunset.
The pedestrian tunnel will provide a strategic and environmentally sustainable new link for Istanbul that will help alleviate the city’s traffic congestion and actively promote the health and wellbeing of citizens by making walking and cycling a more attractive option.
Erik Behrens, Architectural Design Director, AECOM, said: “Istanbul is home to some of the world’s most iconic architecture, particularly its cityscape of beautiful domes. AECOM wanted to play homage to the city’s rich culture in our design by combining the powerful theme of domes with state-of-the-art features to create a pedestrian subsea tunnel that will become a significant landmark in its own right.”
The future transport award of WAN’s annual design competition recognises schemes that showcase the potential for transport facilities to exceed their objective as places to pass through.
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