YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program


June 25 - November 15, 2013

Initiated by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1, the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program is held biannually during the summer and offers young emerging architects the opportunity to design a temporary installation in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard. The program’s aim is to encourage architects to address environmental issues such as sustainability, re-use, and re-cycling, and to explore innovative design ideas providing elements of shade, water, and seating that would increase the possibilities of use in open-air spaces. Providing a popular urban venue for the summer, these designs are expected to protect visitors from the heat of the city, host diverse events, and create intimate social spaces for city-dwellers―all within a modest budget and through reasonable architectural solutions.

The YAP: Young Architects Program began in 1998 in MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York and became international with the participation of CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile in 2010 and the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome in 2011. In 2012, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey to join the program and further expand it. Istanbul Modern’s sculpture garden and the gravel area on the filled ground in the courtyard of the museum―itself situated in one of the warehouses designed by Sedad Hakkı Eldem―was selected as the project site for YAP Istanbul Modern. The jury, which came together to select the winning project, was formed of architectural experts and of representatives from Istanbul Modern and the other YAP: Young Architects Programs. From among the proposals of the five finalists the jury selected the project “Sky Spotting Stop”* designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas.

“Sky Spotting Stop”shades the courtyard of Istanbul Modern while floating gently on the hidden waters of the Bosphorus, projecting its host space upon the city. Thanks to the structural characteristics of the courtyard and the warehouse in which the museum is located, the motion of the waves are transferred to the movement of the architectural elements.The courtyard, disconnected from the shore by a customs zone though situated right by the sea, is defined anew thanks to the shading elements supported by buoys floating in the water right beneath the courtyard ground. The courtyard becomes part of the skyline thanks to this ephemeral, albeit lively addition, which thus becomes visible both from the Bosphorus and the highest points of the city. Visitors in the courtyard can spend time under the undulating shade during the day and among the varying reflections after nightfall. The various uses of the courtyard are shaped by elements made from reused materials; reused vehicle tires covered with fishnets become lightweight, sturdy, portable units. The altering landscape that emerges and the constantly moving canopies transform the courtyard into a new stop in the city for resting, gathering, playing, or “sky-spotting.”

Program Coordinators & Finalists Exhibition Curators: 
Çelenk Bafra, Pelin Derviş


YAP Istanbul Modern Selection Process

In line with the principles of the program, nominators from across Turkey and the TRNC were contacted. Nominators included academicians from schools of architecture, architectural critics, members of periodical publications, and representatives from professional organizations such as the Chamber of Architects and the Association of Architects in Private Practice. On 26 November 2012, 5 finalists were selected from among the 35 young candidates put forthby these nominators who then assessed the portfolios presented by finalists. The finalists were asked to develop proposals for a temporary installation for Istanbul Modern’s courtyard. The selection of 1 February 2013 was made from among these proposals

Presided by Suha Özkan (architect), the jury consisted of Emre Arolat (architect), Çelenk Bafra (Curator, Istanbul Modern), Barry Bergdoll (The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA), Pippo Ciorra (Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura), Levent Çalıkoğlu (Chief Curator, Istanbul Modern), Pelin Derviş (YAP Istanbul Modern Coordinator), Oya Eczacıbaşı (Chair of the Board, Istanbul Modern), Cevdet Erek (artist / architect), Pedro Gadanho (Curator of Contemporary Architecture, MoMA), Melkan Tabanlıoğlu (architect), and Han Tümertekin (architect).

Click for reviews by the YAP jury.


YAP 2013 Finalists Exhibition

An international show presenting the 15-year history of the YAP: Young Architects Program and the designs of the 20 finalists invited to the program in 2013 by MoMA PS1, CONSTRUCTO, MAXXI and Istanbul Modern is on view in Istanbul Modern’s Pop-Up Exhibition Area.

Finalists: (Click below for projects)

SO? Architecture and Ideas / “Sky Spotting Stop”

Alper Derinboğaz (Salon2) / “Haze“

Evren Başbuğİnanç ErayMeriç Kara, and Engin Ayaz (YAP Istanbul Modern Design Group) “seapeaker”

Onat Öktem and Zeynep Öktem (ONZ Architects) / “Tearing the Ground”

Ömer Selçuk Baz (Yalın Mimarlık) “IM / DEBRIS”


YAP International Partners and Projects:





For more information on the program and past designs visit the YAP: Young Architects Program website.

Click for information about YAP and the Partners 


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