The design strategy behind the refurbishment of the historic fish market in the central Istanbul district of Besiktas was based on improving infrastructure and hygiene while organizing the stall and shop owners in a more contemporary retail environment. The seafood stalls of the many new supermarkets and shopping malls that had recently been constructed in Istanbul were more appealing with their modern appearance and infrastructure. The aim was to make the Beşiktaş Fish Market competitive with these new outlets yet retain the urban character of the area.
The design process started with a series of manipulations of the triangular site and its ground surface. This began by boosting the surface of the site, raising it up to create a slight rise. This was a ready solution that preserved the symbolic nature of the site in the urban fabric and the project design by drawing it out of the constrictive shape of the site.
Other site considerations that influenced the design were the underground tunnels leading from the nearby Byzantine church that prevented deep excavations, local business owners insistence on a design that didn’t obscure their shop windows and very narrow medieval streets that were unfit for large vehicles to enter the area affecting delivery.