NATIONAL COMPETITION / 1st PRIZE
ALISAN CIRAKOGLU & ILGIN AVCI & ENGIN MACORO & DENIZ YAZICI & ASLI INGENC & DIGDEM ANGIN & MERVE GUL OZOKCU
Abdullah Gül University Campus design deals with many layers of planning criteria which are considered as fundamental aspects of a freshly founded institution. An innovative understanding kneaded with universal values was put forward in order to create a high quality educational and research environment. Local dynamics and region-specific historical references were adopted as the essential elements which will contribute to this innovative attitude. The very idea of “campus life” which comprises much more than research and education, leads to creating a physical environment with qualities making the users at home. The campus land is located outside the city of Kayseri with which strong connection is to be established. This connection is considered beyond building a transportation network. Designating the campus as an important mixed-use attraction point for the city is one of the main objectives of the design. One of the fundamental principles of the design was to make each AGU building a high quality architectural product, while having the buildings all together display a total integrity. The buildings have an architectural language that will reflect the educational understanding and the vision of the university.
The settlement around the water and “the Bridge”
Bearing in mind the fact that most of the civilizations came into being at the waterfront, it was foreseen that having a water element in physical planning of a new university will play an important role in construction of the corporate identity.
The campus land is dominated by two longitudinal hills forming a valley in between. The main settlement area is along the two hillsides facing towards each other. Administrative, social and cultural functions of the university are located along a linear structure connecting these two hills. The platforms on different levels along this linear structure create the base of the main backbone of the campus. A large pond is created underneath this structure and it continues along the valley creating a creek streaming into a arboretum. This water element defines the main recreation axis of the campus by establishing a trip route along its bank.
This backbone, which is named as “the Bridge” not only because it connects two hillsides but also it carries metaphorical meanings related to the phenomenon of “connecting”, is introduced as the fundamental element of the design that will provide urban character of the campus.
The bridge is designed as a pedestrian area where vertical circulation is provided with stairs, ramps, elevators and escalators. The vehicle roads crossing under this linear structure at two points provide underground parking entry and service to the buildings without coinciding with the pedestrian traffic. Courtyards and quads are located in between the the masses on the platforms, creating open and semi-open venues for activities.
The Convention Center located at an end of “the Bridge”, was intended to create an attraction center at this point with the cultural functions it will incorporate. The Congress Center, which will play an important role in the connection of city to the campus with the events that can be carried out, stands out when approaching the University and Kayseri from highway, establishes the visual perception of AGU with its on the hill location.
The Presidents Office, which is located next to museum and convention center, defines the administrative quad of the campus. The Science Center, that will also host joint activities with the Library, was intended to draw especially the young and child visitors into the campus life and to make them taste the higher education ambiance.
The Library building was located at the very middle of “the Bridge”, on the water, also in order to emphasize the importance of production, protection and promotion of knowledge for AGU. Furthermore, by positioning it at the center of the campus, both the building was ensured to be perceived from all over the campus and the users inside were aimed to feel like they are at the center of the campus. The Library, in which physical books as well as digital media and information will be accessible, is planned to possess spatial arrangements that will enhance the interaction between the students and the researchers.
At the other end of “the Bridge” the Food Court and the Mosque buildings which will also enhance the social interaction and can be points of attraction took place. The Food Court was planned to service not only during lunch and dinner but also to provide service to AGU members and visitors during a wide time interval and to provide alternative catering opportunities.
Faculty Buildings, Sports Facilities and Accommodation
Faculty Building are located along a sigma shaped pedestrian walkway intersecting the “Bridge” at several points. The faculty buildings are connected with themselves as well as with “the Bridge.” This connection provides convenience for university members and students during cold winter conditions. Dormitories are also a part of this pedestrian circulation system and they help to keep the life on the “Bridge” alive during evening time.
The AGU campus is planned as a pedestrian oriented settlement. Vehicle access to all buildings in the campus is provided with blind alleys branching out of the ring road. Intersection of the pedestrian roads with the vehicle traffic is minimised. The connection between parking zones and building is to be provided by electric powered vehicles. Bicycle use is encouraged and bicycle roads and parking is integrated to the transportation network. The campus design and planning has been handled with overall sustainability issues in mind. Optimization of energy use and renewable energy sources are discussed as the major part of the design process.
The AGU campus is planned to be one of the most ambitious educational settlements in parallel to the challenging academic vision of the university. Architectural solutions were handled to carry out the objectives of the institution.