"ALL THAT IS SOLID" in Istanbul Modern's courtyard

Organized by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with MoMA/MoMA PS1,YAP Istanbul Modern 2014-2015 features a temporary installation in the museum’s courtyard, an international architectural exhibition, as well as outdoor events

“ALL THAT IS SOLID”,the second temporary installation of the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program, and the international “YAP 2014-2015 Finalists” exhibition were inaugurated on June 9. The program is carried out by Istanbul Modern in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1, and co-sponsored by Garanti Bank, Polimeks Holding and VitrA.

The project“ALL THAT IS SOLID” was designed by PATTU (Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal), and its engineering and construction support has been provided by Metal Yapı. From June 10 through November 15, 2015“ALL THAT IS SOLID” will be experienced by museum visitors of all ages and includes events programmed especially for the young public.

The selection of the project was undertaken by an international jury presided by Prof. Suha Özkan together with architectural experts and representatives from Istanbul Modern and other YAP International partners. From among the proposals of the five finalists, the jury selected ALL THAT IS SOLID, a design that borrows geometries from past buildings that once stood in the area where Istanbul Modern is located in and crunches them together in a chaotic way. Inspired by the industrial history of the area, the project is botha reminder of the past and a proposal for a more critical view of the future.

Initiated in 2012 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 began in 1998 in MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York and became international with the participation of CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile; the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul, South Korea and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (Istanbul Modern) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Architects and designers invited to the YAP: Young Architects Program are encouraged to address environmental issues such as sustainability, re-use, and re-cycling, and to explore innovative architectural 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 thecity, host diverse events, and create intimate social spaces for city-dwellers, all with a modest budget and through reasonable architectural solutions.

An international exhibition curated by YAP Istanbul Modern program coordinators Çelenk Bafra and Pelin Derviş will be on view in Istanbul Modern’s pop-up exhibition area until August 2. The exhibition features models, visuals, and videos of the projects proposed by the finalists invited to the program by the partner institutions in 2014 and 2015.



According to PATTU, who were inspired by the industrial history of the area,“ALL THAT IS SOLID” is not just a reminder of the past but also a statement about the imminent change the future holds, so that we can be more critical about it: “Buildings are like anchors to memories because they tend to last longer than our human lifespan. But how solid are buildings? The fact that they are made of stone, cement and marble does not really make them last eternally. They can easily be gone in a day. So we borrowed a part of the famous quote ‘All that is solid melts into air.’ Our approach was to dissect the space around Istanbul Modern with all its elements and previous constructions, and reassemble them, showing the ephemeral side of architecture. The design borrows geometries from past buildings that once stood in the area and crunches them together in a chaotic way. But this chaos starts making sense over the course of a day as the transparent shapes become opaque. Past geometries become visible, and invisible.”



Founded in 2009 by Cem Kozar and Işıl Ünal, PATTU is active in the fields of architecture, urban research, exhibition design and graphic design. Raised in Antwerp, Belgium, Cem Kozar (1981, Lüleburgaz) received his formal education as an architect (Istanbul Technical University, 2005). After his graduation, he worked for various architectural offices in Istanbul. He published his master’s thesis “Reading the dynamics of the contemporary city” in 2009. Currently he continues working on his Ph.D. dissertation about the relationship between the museum and the city. In the office, he is mostly working on idea and content development, and space/interaction design. Işıl Ünal (1983, İstanbul) is a landscape architect graduated from Istanbul University (2006). She worked with various landscape architecture offices during and after her studies and had been a part of various urban and landscape design projects in Turkey. After founding PATTU together with Cem Kozar, she started working on graphic design and exhibition projects.


YAP Istanbul Modern 2014-2015 Jury

The YAP Istanbul Modern 2014-2015 Jury is made up of architectural experts and of representatives from Istanbul Modern and the other YAP partners. The jury consists of Prof. Suha Özkan (President of the Jury / architect), Emre Arolat (architect), Çelenk Bafra (Curator, Istanbul Modern), Barry Bergdoll (Curator, MoMA), Pippo Ciorra (Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura), Levent Çalıkoğlu (Director, Istanbul Modern), Pelin Derviş (YAP Istanbul Modern Coordinator), Oya Eczacıbaşı (Chair of the Board, Istanbul Modern), Pedro Gadanho (Curator, MoMA), Geuntae Park (Curator, MMCA), Jeannette Plaut and Marcelo Sarovic (Directors, CONSTRUCTO), Melkan Gürsel Tabanlıoğlu (architect), and Han Tümertekin (architect).


YAP Istanbul Modern 2014-2015 Finalists and Projects

Selected Project:PATTU(Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal) “ALL THAT IS SOLID”

Finalists and their projects: Ali Sinan & Hasan Okan Çetin “Whisper of Trees”; FLAT C “House of Ropes”; Architecture for All “Collective Ground”; Young & Ayata “The Bosphorus Grove” 

For further information:


Architecture's inherent sustainability and permanence along time

Oya Eczacıbaşı, Chair of the Board of Istanbul Modern, notes that YAP: Young Architects Program isIstanbul Modern’s first large scale project in architecture and a long-term collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1. “As a pioneer of culture and the arts, Istanbul Modern aims to contribute to international awareness and appreciation of contemporary art in Turkey through collaboration with global art institutions. This long-term program with MoMA and MoMA PS1 gives Istanbul Modern a prominent position in the international network of contemporary architecture. It means a great deal to us to be part of the Young Architects Program and to have the opportunity of collaborating with MoMA’s department of architecture and design. We believe that the program makes a striking and innovative contribution to the world of contemporary architecture in Turkey.”

Oya Eczacıbaşı explains that, every two years, YAP Istanbul Modern presents a temporary structure in its courtyard that creates a social space combining architecture, design and the arts. “This year’s structure, entitled ‘ALL THAT IS SOLID’, will host concerts, performing art events, workshops, interdisciplinary talks and open-air film screenings. The first of these events will be YOKO ONO MORNING PEACE 2015, a collaboration with MoMA PopRally, to celebrate sunrise on June 21, the longest day of the year, with music, yoga and artistic activities.”

Stating that the proposal by PATTU is inspired by the physical, social and industrial history of the area referred to as Galataport, the president of the jury Suha Özkan stresses that what makes this proposal very engaging for all age and social groups is the way it enables people to read, to experience and to discover the engrossing history of the area: “The visual documentation of the area presented multitudes of historical urban existences that occupied the proximity surrounding the site. As for their proposal: depicting building components and then assembling them in novel abstract forms as outlines is the ‘site specific’ strength of the proposal. The three-dimensional, multi-level piling of outlines or features of buildings that once existed here in the course of history establishes the pavilion’s connection to more than two centuries of urban history.”

Pointing out that PATTU's project is a poetical evocation of the site's volatile history, MoMA Curator Pedro Gadanho stresses that, with its intriguing spatial exploration of suspended architectural memories, and even a playful exploration of innovative materialsto create an interactive shadow device, the proposal presents itself as a multi-layered installation that fully engages the spirit and challenges of the YAP: Young Architects Program: “Furthermore, the reinstatement of the famous idea that ‘everything that is solid melts into air’ not only creates a timely commentary on politics of urban renewal, but also brings into question architecture’s inherent sustainability: its permanence along time.”


A structure with unique and dreamlike qualities

Istanbul Modern Curator Çelenk Bafra states that the design takes geometries of many different building types such as the clock tower, car factory and warehouse that were once built in the area where Istanbul Modern now stands, and crunches them together to attain new forms. Bafra points out the originaland dreamlike qualities of the structure, which itself is temporary, is full of references to the past, and transcends history: “Istanbul Modern is located in an area where the Bosphorus reaches the center of the city and has been used as a port for a thousand years. Due to its location, this area is the city’s face to the world, hosting its industrial, commercial and cultural buildings, while often undergoing change parallel to city’s turbulent history. Once again, the larger area surrounding the museum is about to undergo a comprehensive transformation. Naturally, while YAP Finalists attempt to follow the main principles of the program, they also engage the specific dynamics and characteristics of the site they are offered. ‘ALL THAT IS SOLID’, is based on an archival research about the curious history of this particular site. The project forms an attitude toward the fate of the area awaiting a renewal. It manifests this attitude from the outset through its title. Indeed, we are quite familiar with the title, borrowed from the quote ‘All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned’, from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, as well as from other critical texts on socioeconomic progress–especially that of Marshall Berman. The project thus proposes a more critical thinking about topical issues such as urban renewal, the sustainability of architecture and the impermanence of buildings. Furthermore, it features this attitude through a colorful atmosphere, made by aluminum folding façades activated by light sensors and rest areas formed with wooden pallets in the shade of a metal-framed structure. The space creates thus a place full of visual experiences waiting to be explored by various audiences; a sort of playground for imagining the past and future.”



Within the scope of YAP Istanbul Modern, a special events program will be held throughout the summer in the museum’s courtyard, focusing on various disciplines that include music, cinema and performing arts.

On June 21, YOKO ONO MORNING PEACE 2015, a unique and special event in celebration of the longest day of the year and the artist Yoko Ono is organized in collaboration with MoMA PopRally. Inspired by Yoko Ono’s work “Morning Piece to George Maciunas”, the program will start at sunrise featuring a yoga session, and continue until noon with a tea workshop, art stations for different age groups as well as DJ sets and concerts.

YAP Istanbul Modern will also feature three plays and performances proposed by Bedirhan Dehmen, performing arts and cultural theory expert. The first performance, on June 25, is a reinterpretation of the play “TÜH!”, with choreography and concept by Melih Kıraç, Mihran Tomasyan and Gökçe Gürçay, members of Çıplak Ayaklar Kumpanyası. On October 1, Bedirhan Dehmen, Canberk Yıldız, Cem Yıldız and Ejder Keskin will present the play “BİZ” (WE), a mourning over the past in which viewers confront their own cultural memory and story. And finally, on October 8, Taldans will present in the museum’s courtyard their performance “Dolap”, taking its inspiration from the relationship between the body and architecture.

For YAP, Istanbul Modern Cinema has programmed three films that will take the spectator on a journey through Istanbul’s past. On July 2, 3, and 4, a different film will be screened each evening at the open-air cinema to be set up in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard, reviving the memory of the area where the museum now stands.

Independent musicians and bands from Istanbul will perform in the museum’s courtyard especially for enthusiasts of new sounds. The program proposed by the Istanbul team of the global music movement Sofar Sounds will feature four acoustic concerts throughout August.

In autumn, a kind of intellectual marathon will bring together various ideas on concepts such as “memory” and “history” through day-long conversations and talks byparticipants from diverse disciplines including architecture as well as art, sociology, philosophy and psychology. Participatory plays on urbanism are also being conceived around the same concepts.


ALL THAT IS SOLID Educational Program: Puzzle Buildings

The museum’s education and social projects department has prepared an educational program related to ALL THAT IS SOLID.

Based on the quote “All that is solid melts into air”, the educational program “Puzzle Buildings” is about the impermanence and evanescence of architecture. The program begins with historical research and assessment of architectural buildings constructed in the past on the site where Istanbul Modern now stands. 7-12 year-olds listen to a story told through the eyes of the Nusretiye Clock Tower–which has witnessed a major portion of this history–and examine images of buildings constructed on this site in the past. Based on former and existing buildings, the children then create abstract forms using Styrofoam, rods, and wire, and complete the program by constructing models.

The program is for 7-12 year-olds and is free of charge. It will be carried out from July through November, with institutions supporting education.


Giftware inspired by ALL THAT IS SOLID

The Istanbul Modern Store features Plexiglas key holders, necklaces and canvas backpacks designed by Reyhan Karacadağ for “ALL THAT IS SOLID”. In addition to the exhibition postcard and posters, are now available at the Museum, Point Hotel Barbaros, and online