Ankara’s Iron Cage

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Ankara's Iron Cage

Ankara's Iron Cage

Passing through the main arterial of Ankara, people got used to seeing a greenish steel skeleton. It was a gigantic construction, located at the heart of a new commercial and business development site, representing neither development nor life for the city. This steel structure was actually the construction of a convention centre. Before the process began in 2005, there were high hopes regarding the project. It was to be the apple of Ankara’s eye with its architectural appearance, central urban location, human accessibility and high car-park capacity. The total construction area was colossal. It would be a 140.000m2 development on approximately three hectares of land, including a future metro station. The convention centre was supposed to contain conference halls, meeting saloons, shops, and cinema theatres, to serve the people of Ankara. The building should have been completed within a year.

As the green steel was rising, so were the problems. By 2008, approximately 72.000.000 TL (27 million euro) had been spent on the project. However, that year the fancy dreams started to collapse. Multidimensional problems emerged regarding the site selection, functions and position of the block and its surroundings. First of all, the site is a planned commercial district, but it was already being suffocated by ambitious projects for business and retail purposes aiming to commercialise the city. All of the new developments were creating a serious burden on the city’s traffic, since there is only a single road carrying nearly half of the population to the inner city every day. The convention centre was meant to be built near one of the most busy junctions of this road.

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