If you are a follower of all things Kalkan, then you have probably already heard of the plans to re-develop the harbour area – certainly it has been the talk of the town amongst Kalkan residents and as always change has an amazing power to divide opinion. Most of us love the harbour area, with its plethora of restaurants and bars, as it is and would never have contemplated change. But change isn’t always a bad thing, is it?
For now we wanted to bring you an outline of the plan – and at the moment that’s all it is – a plan! It proposes changes to the harbour area stretching from the Pirat Hotel all the way to the area immediately behind the town beach. The Belediye has approved these plans to be adopted within the overall ‘town master plan’ and they have also been ratified by the relevant government department – the Antalya Council for the Preservation / Conservation of Cultural Assets. At the moment no timescales have been given nor has there been any mention of how the project will be funded
The land by the harbour and behind the beach is mostly owned by the government, with small pockets owned by the local Belediye and others.
Generally speaking, coastal land is viewed as a national asset, which should be open to the public. Having said that, national and local government bodies may rent out some areas - typically for commercial use, and we see that in Kalkan, with a number of shops and restaurants on the harbour-side.
In Kalkan, a plan was developed in 1993 defining the land behind the harbour and beach as public areas and leaving the details to a further urban design project. Since then, some areas designated on the plan as public spaces have increasingly been used for commercial purposes.
Below: How Kalkan harbour used to look many years ago, before the restaurants expanded.
Back in 2012 the Antalya Council charged the Belediye with the task of ensuring that the public spaces were reinstated, and moreover, that they should prepare this urban design project before any action was taken in this area.
This project is intended to address those requirements, enhancing the public amenities and facilities, and creating spaces where people can enjoy spending time in the harbour and beach areas. Throughout last year architects were developing these new urban plans, on behalf of the Belediye.
They set out the general themes for this Special Project Area, showing the commercial areas, facilities and services, and also the public recreational spaces. In April, July and November 2013 presentations were given to local people, showing the evolving details. Consultations have taken place, both in public meetings and also with some one to one meetings with businessmen.
Following these consultations, the high level plans were approved by the Belediye and also by the Antalya Council.
Points of interest
Here are some points of interest that we discovered when we looked at the details. We reiterate that these are just plans, and things can change.
We start at the Pirat Hotel end of the harbour and work our way across to the beach area.
Turning area near Marina restaurant
There will be a mini traffic island at the entrance to the harbour, between the Marina restaurant and Sarpedon Gallery. This will enable traffic to flow more easily than it does at the moment.
The existing wall by the entrance to the harbour will be pushed back a little to accommodate the island, and the entrance to the harbour itself will be moved slightly, in the direction of Sandal Bar.
Vehicle access to the harbour and beach
It is proposed that vehicular access should be restricted, transforming the whole area into something more like a pedestriansed area or plaza.
The architects have said that the redevelopment of the Special Project Area will take full account of the requirements of people with disabilities. For example, there will be lots of ramps in place, and a public lift will be provided close to the steps between Korsan Meze restaurant and the Kleo Bar.
Any vehicular access will be one way - entering by Marina restaurant. The road that goes past Kleo bar towards the beach will be extended with a new piece of road that climbs up in front of the old mosque, linking up to the road where Kaptan's restaurant is located.
From Marina restaurant to Aubergine restaurant
These buildings will remain largely as they are, on the side of the road furthest away from the harbour, if the structural analysis allows.
However the proposed redevelopment will try to bring in a more consistent appearance and some improved facilities. As the the old buildings will be utilised, a terrace level is not possible.
The land in front of the buildings will include a service road, and a public space, where there will be a landscaped walkway with seating. The new service road will be further away from the buildings than the existing road, and on a slightly lower level. (The area where the boats are moored in the harbour will not be affected by any of these proposed changes).
The obvious question is, how will this impact on the restaurants who currently place their tables and chairs in this area?
It's hard to say. Currently this area is designated on official plans as public space. Under the new proposals it continues to be designated as public space. So no change. The only difference will be that instead of having a flat space, consisting of a stone/concrete floor, there will be small garden areas, and public seating. Will the Belediye allow restaurants to use any spaces in between these new features? We don't know.
From Coast restaurant to Kleo bar
The steps leading down from Salt & Pepper restaurant down to Coast restaurant are to be widened.
There will be two sets of steps, and in between them will be amphitheatre style seating, where people can look out over the harbour. See below.
The building currently used by Coast will be reshaped, (to take account of these wider steps), and it looks as though there will be a new upper level area where diners could sit.
Fom Yakamoz (Jimmy's), all the way down to Kleo bar, the buildings will be rebuilt in the same place, with a new architectural layout and style, and small formal variations.
The existing flat roof above these restaurants will become an upper terrace space, providing an elevated view of the harbour. Together with the front terrace, these two spaces will provide at least 70 - 80% of their current capacity.
Kleo bar itself will be rotated round slightly, freeing up more public space in front.
The large open space opposite Yakamoz, Deniz, Mussakka and Seaport restaurants will be a public space, or plaza. The same question arises here again, regarding the placing of tables and chairs in this area, and the answer is as above. It will be up to the Belediye to decide what is allowed.
The same is true for the Fener (Lighthouse) Cafe. The plans show a much reduced cafe - reverting back to the core original building, which would see some wooden structures removed, including the köşk area. Much of this would become public space, with landscaping and seating.
Each restaurant will have a defined, shaded dining space on the front side, which it will be possible to close (for shelter) in the winter time.
For the groups of restaurants, shared engineering services will be proposed, such as generator, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, water storage, open air conditioning and waste management. Through these "behind the scenes" shared services, not only will the costs be reduced, but by taking old equipment out, the overall use of space will be more efficient, and visually appealing.
Toilets and showers
The public toilets close to Fener will disappear. In that space will be a small stage for local performers, incorporating some changing room facilities.
The main toilet and shower facilities will be between Kleo bar and the beach - close to where they are now. They will be modern facilities, with disabled access features.
There will also be toilets close to the existing children's playground behind the beach. Finally, there will be some new toilets at the smaller Fener Cafe.
Boardwalk and jetty
The space across the road from Seaport restaurant will be a public amenity area, and where there are currently railings, there will be a new set of wide steps leading down to a wooden platform, with additional steps down into the sea.
The plans show a wooden boardwalk stretching from this spot, all the way along the back of the beach, which will be useful for disabled people or families with pushchairs. There will be a small wooden jetty going out into the sea, towards the Kleo bar end of the beach.
Behind the beach
There will be a new cafe built behind the beach to replace the existing Pınar Büfe cafe. The children's play area will be renewed, and a "dry pool" (a small grid of water jets coming out of the ground) will be installed. There will be a fountain, which will take a feed from the existing fresh water spring. Architects also plan to keep the cold pool of the pınar (spring) which people use to bathe in, after swimming..
These plans reflect a general desire to open up the harbour area into a mostly pedestrian area, with landscaped public spaces and modern facilities. Green areas will be increased in the total project area, whilst most of the existing trees will be kept.
A primary principle of the urban design is not to propose new building, except for the renovations, renewals and mandatory service spaces.
If you have visited Fethiye recently, you have probably seen how the harbour area has been transformed. We see this as a similar project, albeit on a much smaller scale, which is designed to make the most of the harbour and beach environs in Kalkan.
What happens next?
The first phase of the project, namely the principal decisions and the urban design, have now been completed and approved. The architects now begin the second phase, which should take around 3 to 4 months, where the detailed architectural designs of all the renewals and renovations will be created.
Additionally the municipality is planning to complete engineering projects, landscape design, street furniture and a special lighting design project, all of which will then be integrated as sub-components of the overall urban design project.
So, what do you think? Do you love the harbour area as it is, or would the proposed changes give us an even more beautiful Kalkan
(Extracts taken from KTLN to whom we extend our thanks)