Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kusadasi, Turkey: Setur Marina and the Extreme 'Green Roof'

Kusadasi,  pronounced Kooshadasee, is a small port town on the southwest side of Turkey.  We arrived early in the morning and had booked a shore excursion to the ancient city of Ephesus for part of our time at port here.  We typically do not purchase shore excursions through the cruise line as they tend to be very over priced.  However, limited time at this port plus the distance to the ancient city and a special reduced rate pushed us to book this excursion.  

The Library at Ephesus
Ephesus was incredible and we learned a lot,  but the focus of the entry comes from further investigation of something that caught my eye as we passed by in our bus headed to Ephesus.  

As we rode in the bus past the shore I noticed a walkway that started flush with the sidewalk along the street and quickly angled upwards out towards the sea.  It was flanked with planting beds and I was instantly drawn in.   I leaned over to my wife and told her that we should check it out when we got back from Ephesus.  She, of course, was overjoyed at the idea of checking out yet another pier/ sidewalk/ park thing all in the name of Landscape Architecture.  She is a great sport about me being a tree nerd, what can I say, she's a catch.

After we returned from the ancient city we started out in search of this mysterious sidewalk!  As we approached, I noticed right away that the reason the sidewalk sloped upwards away from the sidewalk along the street so quickly was to accommodate the restaurants underneath!  As we got closer I thought it was a pier with restaurants below and the pier above heading out towards the water.  When we finally arrived at the base of the sidewalk that angled up, the full scope of the area became clear.  This wasn't a pier and it wasn't an elevated sidewalk.  At the very least this was a promenade, but it felt more like a park.   Maybe it's a 'Promenark' or a 'Parkenade,' whatever it it is it gives the term 'Green Roof' new meaning!  I asked a gentleman who was working in one of the planting beds for the name of the area and he told me it was called 'Setur Marina.'  This was fitting seeing as this elevated park winded around the...marina.  It was a really unique display of Landscape Architecture synthesized with architecture and engineering.  As a Landscape Architect I can almost hear the hundreds of conversations to coordinate the design and construction.  The Structural Engineer talking to the Architect about column sizes, and both the Architect and the Engineer talking to the Landscape Architect about what areas can support what type of loads to enable proper design of the park.  Then of course the Landscape Architect pushing back requesting slightly larger columns to support more plants!
Small Beach in Front of the Shops and Restaurants
With the Rooftop Promenade Above
Approaching the Green Promenade
Heading Up...
Approximate 8' Width Stone Tile Walk
Lined by Geometric Plant Beds
The Angular Planting Beds become Curvilinear as the
Path Bends by the Sea
Setur Marina Worker Tilling a Bed
Geometric Shapes of Various Materials
are Introduced Into the Path
(From this angle you kind of forget this is all part of a roof...)
Open Pedestrian Area
(Roof Top Promenade May Be Seen at the Left)
Open Pedestrian Area
(Roof Top Promenade May Be Seen in the Rear of the Picture)
This was a great example of coordinated design and construction.  Every project we work on takes intense amounts of work in each field as well as equal amounts of coordination between design disciplines!  I am of course aware that there may have actually been no 'Landscape Architect' as we know it on this project but someone with a knowledge of site design and plants was definitely involved.  Without proper coordination from start to finish, this place may not have become the beautiful park that it is!

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