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Giant 'seagull' set to land on Istanbul skyline

Story highlights

  • A new seagull-shaped transport hub is to built on the banks of the Bosphorus
  • The new transport center will provide links for ferries, trains, buses and small ships, say developers
  • Project will incorporate green features like rainwater collection and renewable energy
  • Construction due to start next year with station scheduled to open in 2015/16

Wheeling around the skies above the ferry boats and cargo ships, seagulls are as a familiar sight above the Bosphorus as the commuters and containers on it.

Their enduring presence on Istanbul's busy waterway will soon be further cemented with the construction of a new transport hub designed to look like the seabird in flight.

Perched on the western shores of the Bosphorus, the Kabatas Seagull Transportation Hub will enable new and improved connections for ferries, trains, buses and some small ships, says Ali Ulvi Altan, director of major projects for Hakan Kiran Architecture.

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"Today this area carries around 60,000 passengers per day ... when [the hub is completed it will carry] around 90,000 persons per day by our estimates," Altan said.

The seagull was a natural choice for the design, says Altan, because the bird is the symbol of the Bosphorus.

The Istanbul-based architects will be assisted by Dutch engineering company, Royal HaskoningDHV who will be providing geotechnical, environmental and maritime expertise.

In addition to its iconic design, the project will incorporate green features such as rainwater collection and a renewable energy facility.

Work on the building is due to start next year, Altan says, and should be completed by 2015/16.