Superspace Architects Propose an Inhabited Aqueduct for Istanbul

©. Superspace

A few hundred years ago, a lot of people lived and worked on bridges; we have covered a few inhabited bridges in TreeHugger. Now Turkish architecture firm Superspace is proposing to inhabit an aqueduct built by the Roman emperor Valens back in the 4th century.

elevation superspace

© Superspace

The architects write that the old aqueduct “has lost its significance and functionality after technological and infrastructural advancements”, i.e. piped water. So they propose building a promenade “with overlapping the fabric of wood and stone, oldie and newbie, history and future, hard and soft, have and light and ultimately generating an alternative elevated life.”

perspecive of bridge

© Superspace via Designboom

The project won second prize in an architectural competition, and when you get past the architectese, is in fact a very interesting scheme. Building out of wood keeps it light, so it is made of Kurto LVL, which is a type of beam or column built up out of plywood veneers, but much thicker, up to 3-1/2 thick. Manufacturer Metza wood claims it is strong enough that they could build the Empire State Building out of it. Superspace is not going nearly so high.

superspace plans

© Superspace

The exteriors are noted as being heat-treated wood; I suspect that they mean what is called Thermally modified wood in North America. Heat treating is used to kill bugs in pallets; thermally modified wood is heated at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen and chemically changed, becoming much more durable. It also becomes a darker colour as shown on the renderings.

Lots more images in Designboom


© Superspace via Designboom