Canakkale Antenna Tower

Located at the top of a hill with breath taking views of the Dardanelles, the project consolidates existing telecommunication towers into one and creates a public park enriched with viewing platforms, a visitor centre and a restaurant.

It has become a commonplace situation to find around the world a collection of telecommunication towers on top of hills. Besides the visual impacts of the multiple towers the current standard procedure also brings with it erosion, landscape fragmentation, destruction of habitats and the loss of interests of nature lovers in those usually precious locations. The impact of such infrastructure has in the landscape has been received worldwide with passivity, as if nothing could be done since we all need to be connected to internet, radio and tv at all times regardless of its environmental and social costs.

The brief of this international competition asked to challenge that position. It asked participants to come up with an elegant, environmentally conscious and economically viable solution that not only improved the physical aspects of the broadcasting infrastructure by consolidating the collections of several towers into a single tower but also asked to open up this infrastructure-only program into a public space location by combining it with recreational uses such an exhibition area, a visitor centre and a restaurant. The brief suggested to design this iconic tower involving all programs in one formal gesture.

After failing to achieve a formal result that was also compatible with the environment due to its overloaded formal needs our team decided to explore a different direction that did not literally respond to the brief. With the advice of our telecommunication engineers to place the tower as far away as possible from the public program due to its hazardous radiations and the happy coincidence that the plot offer a peripheral belt due to the existence of an inner plot to be left untouched, we came up with the idea of an outer binding viewing platform that would encircle the project. We then decided to locate the program at different points of the plot with the tower at the entrance and the public program facing the better views of the surroundings at the opposite end. The project would be then reunited formally by the outer band that offered break taking views of the Dardanelles. The loop would deform itself in plan and section to conform a tall entrance canyon, a wide viewing terrace deck with the main public needs beneath it , an elevated narrow viaduct and finally the tower itself that appears to complete this ring from both ends. The formal result of the levitating outer ring with the tower in the background subtly accentuates the contours of the hills making infrastructure, landscape and architecture a place of dialogue and mutual enrichment.

The loop solution offered another feature, the creation of an internal garden where we could showcase indigenous flower vegetation and restore the eroded land with healthy soil and young forest trees. Rather than a domesticated landscape the garden appears to be a wild place blurring the distinction between the plot vegetation and the surrounding forest landscape. Its walking paths marked with local stones are rather suggestions than defined trajectories. Stone boulders as seating devices complete the landscape proposal.

The brief requested that the 100m tall tower would not deform more than 1 degree facing winds up to 160km/h. This has led the structural engineers to come up with a solution that would use structural façade elements of steel plates up to 40mm combined with internal stiffeners. In turn the tower would be built out of modules to be assembled on site. The entire project finishing material is corten steel. This option offered a more subtle binding of the project to the natural colours of the landscape, also changing in tone according to sun exposure and wind.

Akdoğan, Arman (IND); Madrazo, Felix (IND); de Ru, Nanne (PHC); Bessard, Charles

Landscape design
Sánchez Paisaje, Hugo; Loop Design; Taller de Paisaje Entorno

Structure advice

Electrical engineers
Küp Mühendislik LTD

Lighting consultancy
Brandi, Ulrike; Heine, Benjamin; Textor, Sarah

Site supervision
Akdoğan, Arman; Madrazo, Félix. IND [Inter.National.Design]


IND [Inter.National.Design] & Powerhouse Company

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure & Çanakkale Special Province Administration

Building Company
Çakır Inşaat. Talat Turan, Burak Yurt