The design brief for Galataport’s passenger cruise terminal was to present a thoughtful design taking into account the needs of a wide variety of cruise ships and passenger profiles. The terminal design needed to offer a unique and fresh experience to the expected 25 million visitors, including 7 million foreign tourists and 1.5 million cruise passengers. Autoban approaches each project through a consideration of the geographical, historical and cultural elements of each project and the region in which it takes place. For Galataport, Autoban applied a contemporary approach while reflecting the historical significance of the port as well as the cultural texture of the surrounding neighborhood. The resulting design intends to put forward a project that is both strong aesthetically, but that also serves its purpose and function successfully with a design narrative that creates a strong and positive impression on visitors. The underground passenger terminal has been completed to global standards and brings all terminal operations, luggage handling and passport control activities underground, allowing the waterfront to remain open to be enjoyed by visitors as a recreational area. The project is located in the city’s prime Karaköy district, just a stone’s throw from the old city and an extension of the historic peninsula. Our design narrative was hence deeply informed by the cultural texture of the area, and specifically the ancient cisterns that were built here in the Roman and Byzantine periods as water reservoirs. Istanbul’s cisterns, such as the Basilica Cistern and the Cistern of Philoxenos, are recognized as significant cultural treasures of the city and draw in thousands of tourists yearly for their mesmerizing architecture. The historic architecture and character of these ancient cisterns was referenced in the interior shell we built within the terminal space, through rounding the edges of the columns and structural forms of the upper floors. To provide a sense of direction within the space differentiating materials were used on the side of the terminal facing the Topkapı Palace and on the side facing the Dolmabahçe Palace, respectively the former and later administrative centers of the Ottoman Empire. Autoban’s design intends to render the space as natural and airy as possible despite little access to natural sunlight, optimize the flow of passengers in and out of the space, and ensure a pleasant transit experience. Well thought out lighting schemes were specifically chosen to emit a silver light and accentuate this natural feeling, while a light and natural color palette was preferred for the various materials. Durable materials with larger surfaces and minimal grout joints were selected in order to withstand heavy circulation and allow easy cleaning.
Istanbul based multidisciplinary design studio Autoban was founded in 2003 by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar. Autoban works across architecture and interiors, product and experiential design, forging a reputation for thoughtfulness, experimentation and craftsmanship.
With a portfolio that includes a collection of projects throughout hospitality, retail, residential, aviation, transportation and public realm developments, Autoban's work is typified by familiar forms and materials repurposed in vital, contemporary ways. After redefining the cityscape of Istanbul in the early 2000's, the studio's work has extended to include large scale signature projects from Europe to Asia and the Indian Ocean. Award winning projects can be found in major centers such as London, Manchester, Malta, the Maldives and Thailand. Autoban also designs a range of signature products which are sold in over 50 locations worldwide, most notably with the recent Autoban Renewed collection for Delaespada.