Located in Ankara, Yasamkent Mall was designed by Aura Design Studio, headed by Filiz Cingi Yurdakul. The culture of the Grand Bazaar comes to the fore in the idea of starting the project. Nowadays, bazaars serve as important gathering spaces in all major cities, and both interact with their surroundings through the perception of physical structure and, in doing so, transform their environment. Often located and spilling over major street intersections, they cater to local traffic and provide a place for people to eat, drink and relax. This historical and cultural background was the most important starting point that shaped Aura Design Studio’s conceptual design project.
Since Ottoman times, bazaars in Turkey have allowed people to mingle and buy basic necessities. They are etched in the minds of most as covered streets. They retain both a commercial and public function, and are most often the architectural equivalent of shopping malls. Closed bazaars remained relatively popular until recently. Alas, as they are often located right in the center of Turkish cities and townships, they are often unable to meet modern urban needs. The pandemic has only exacerbated this.
Yasamkent Mall is located right in the heart of Ankara’s Çayyolu district in Çankaya, amidst rows of apartments, villas and a central mosque. To make the most of the site’s potential, the architects designed the center to allow residents, students and shoppers to interact with each other as much as possible. Aura Design Studio also aimed to accentuate the vibrancy of the neighborhood via a multi-level courtyard with multiple entrances that bring people in from different directions and access points. Everything on the site is open plan commercial places, a public square, an entertainment corner with the aim of making the center as flexible as possible over time.
The eaves of the Yasamkent Mall are intended to be legible within the urban fabric, as well as to ensure the integrity of the massing. The brise-soleils open onto terraces along the interior walkways and extend onto an open amphitheater, creating a unique architectural language. In addition, its flexible traffic development connects all units with each other, commerce and shopping, thus ensuring maximum interaction between them. The central courtyard has the potential to create a social atmosphere for the surrounding residential fabric, and is also surrounded by businesses. Aura Design Studio created a scenario to enrich the intensely interactive social life of the neighborhood by providing students with an alternative and dynamic space to relax. In total, there are four different main spaces; terraces aligned along the south facade ensure between them a ribbon of continuity of interior and exterior spaces.
The Yasamkent Mall is visually and functionally defined by various green spaces and parks in and around the courtyard, and which is directly connected to the amphitheater by a series of large pots. Aware of a potential shortage of parking spaces, Aura Design Studio has provided indoor and outdoor parking lots in two separate areas. The strategic location of Yaşamkent Mall and its open urban architecture make it one of the most important malls in Ankara to date.