Redefining & reimagining the future of

We believe that every design should begin with a creative holistic vision.
Vision governs projects and is the driver for success.

When problem-solving or rethinking tired typologies, Dror starts by questioning everything. Once a direction is decided, we build the right team of collaborators to address the challenge, improve experiences and create value.

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for Havvada

A city of tomorrow – that rethinks the urban grid

Over the past 500 years, numerous parties have proposed the creation of a new canal between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara to reduce Turkey’s water traffic. In 2011, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the Canal Istanbul project, a revival of the idea, during a rally held in connection with the country's general elections. Measuring approximately 30 miles long, 25 meters deep, and 150 meters wide, one billion cubic meters of earth would be carved away and in need of a new home.

Interested in how the soil could be used to create a man-made island off the coast of Istanbul, Inanlar commissioned Dror to conceptualize a new metropolitan community measuring approximately one-third the size of Manhattan; one that addresses the social, environmental, and economic issues afflicting today's contemporary cities.

We started to think about the fundamental problems that have plagued cities throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, along with the solutions posited to address them, and spent six months in intense dialogue with a brilliant team of experts. Collaboratively researching and experimenting ways to design a cutting-edge, net-positive-energy utopia, we considered urban planning, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation systems, as well as more basic questions like: Why do we live in cities? What is their purpose? Will cities exist in the future?

Informed by earlier concepts of ideal cities developed by thinkers Ebenezer Howard and Nathan Revercomb, our proposal for the island community HavvAda (meaning “air island” in Turkish) consists of six hills that encircle a downtown center. This orientation—rooted in the sacred geometry of the number seven, where six objects surround a seventh—is apparent in nature, religion, physics, and even in the molecular shape of water.

Drawing from Buckminster Fuller’s logic of a geodesic dome, each hill is formed by a structural sphere that houses green-roofed residences on the exterior and commercial companies on the interior. The sloped landscape allows for panoramic views of the horizon line, and acts as a ventilation system, where both wind and rain are recycled constantly. The green hills, as Fuller discovered, provide significant, natural means for heating and cooling, and contribute to an individual ecosystem and sustainable energy renewal operation.

To address the problematic configuration of modern cities, where selfish, stick-like buildings absorb energy and emit waste, we envisioned a new organization of the urban grid. Independent vertical buildings on a 2D grid are rotated to form horizontal structures on a 3D grid, wrapping around each dome in concentric circles. This three-dimensional geographical topography allows for major benefits, including accessibility to the commercial centers of surrounding hillsides. To get from one point to another, residents can either walk around or go straight across at every level.

Able to house up to 300,000 residents, HavvAda is a landscape that will continually adapt to the dynamics of its unique site. Its strategic topography and built environment creates a self-sufficient, ever-changing dual tension between the organ and the machine.

Program 16,535,000 M² MASTERPLAN
Date 2012
Greg Otto West Region, Buro Happold  
Byron Stigge Environment and Infrastructure Group, Buro Happold 
Shoji Sadao Fuller and Sadao PC Architects
Elizabeth Thompson
& Daniel Reiser
Buckminster Fuller Institute

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Creating a new relationship between structure and infrastructure.
From a 2 dimensional grid and vertical buildings to a 3 dimensional grid with horizontal buildings.
While the residences face outward and preserve privacy, the commercial focuses inward, creating vibrant, community activity.
Imagine a lush Cappadocia.
Or, community organized like rice terraces.
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