The Enchanted Gardens of Ada Kaleh
In 1964, the communist governments of Romania and
Yugoslavia decided to build a large dam and hydroelectric power station on the Danube. In order to do that, they demanded the displacement of a small Turkish community situated in a remarkable geographic context - Ada Kaleh.
Ada Kaleh was a fortified island on the Danube, with a long history of continuous occupation. It was described as a lush common garden where people lived in harmony. In 1970, after brutal demolitions and shy intentions of the academia to partially preserve some elements, it vanished under a thick cover of water.
Today, Ada Kaleh is an image and a model, at the same time.
The project strives to reevaluate it as a cultural landscape and argues for its relevance in relation to the sustainable practices that we are fighting to develop today.
Just a part of a much larger research project, the spatial proposals are tied together in a series of enclosed gardens that follow the traces of important artifacts displaced from the island and act as containers of memories. Their limits mediate between two different spaces and timeframes - the evocative space and time of the island and the real space and time where each artifact sits today.
Academic project, 2018
Studio "Objects as grounds", fall semester, AHO
Luis Callejas (LCLA Office), Janike Kampevold Larsen, Christiana Pitsillidou
Nominated for RIBA Part 2 President's Medals 2019
Nomination in BETA City Competition, Timisoara, 2020
Selected for publishing at the Bucharest Architecture Annual, 2020
The completion of this work could not have been possible without the help and support of Engur & Mioara Ahmet, Mahinur Hairi Apostol, (Ada Kaleh - A Spot of Paradise), INP Bucuresti, State Archives Turnu Severin, who provided me not only with an incredible amount of photographs but also with other valuable information and inspiring dialogues.
I am sincerely grateful for all of that.