The city of Istanbul faces a paradoxical and interdependent situation: rich water infrastructure and severe water scarcity. Arcaded Cistern is a provocative experiment in reorganizing unused cisterns (in the case of Aspar Cistern) with assembled, modular, repeatable arcade units to address Istanbul’s groundwater depletion and urban sprawl. These modular units make the Arcaded Cistern as the new water commons a process. Its flexible and compatible framework corresponds to the time, users, everyday life, and any other urban factors. Behind the Arcaded Cistern is an attempt to awaken a new awareness of ancient water heritage. As Larry W. Mays says, “The ancient water technologies of cisterns should be considered, not as historical artifacts, but as potential models for sustainable water technologies for the present and future.
Wenyuan Zhang and Dongdong Shu
El Hadi Jazairy