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Q1.: What is the concept of the design?

Human is a being that exists with its emotions. Just like the design of the Chinese coin, it should have a soft/curved structure against the outside, even though it has a doglegged structure in line with its own thoughts. The design reflects this idea with its placement in the project area and the form of the main structure. While the doglegged design of the main structure reflects the principles of the people in line with their own beliefs; the circular-shaped landscape designed around the main structure reflects the ability of people to pursue their own ideas in a harmonious and fluid manner with their surroundings. Also, introducing water elements in landscape design symbolizes the purity and serenity in human life.

Q2: What kind of emotions does your design intend to resonate among the visitors?

The design aims to emphasize the sense of quality and unity by providing entrances to the main structure from different directions, then gathering visitors in a common space. It emphasizes being able to exist together by putting aside the elements that distinguish them such as people’s belifs and where they come from. The fact that the main structure is in the form of an inverted pyramid and the entrances are designed under the ground level, symbolizes the journey of people to universalism by leaving their narrow vision and expanding as they go up from the ground. In addition, landscape design and water elements, which is crossed to reach the main structure, creates a buffer zone where people can cleanse themselves from their world before the journey to themselves.

Q3: How does material play a role to generate these emotions in your design?

Concrete has chosen for the primary material of the main building to provide the shell effect and isolate visitors from the outside world. It is flexible yet solid, malleable yet permanent. It is the honest expression of the intentions of the design and plain form of the inverted pyramid creates harmony with the concrete material, providing a sincere space for the visitors.

Light and water are key elements in human life. Water, beyond its functional role, is a symbol of purity and beauty.  In the design, water elements used to create calmness, and cleansing during the journey to inner self. The design of the classic Chinese garden is based on the ideology of ‘Nature and Man in One’ and water is one of the essential elements. Therefore, it refers to this ideology and represents existence. Like in the yin yang’ water belongs to yin while mountain belongs to yang; they depend on each other and complete the whole nature. Earth in the landscape symbolizes the mountains in the yang and complete the whole nature with water elements.

Light plays an important role in reducing the massive shell effect of the concrete. In addition, it reflects the beauty of the nature, and occupies a central place in the religious architecture. The voids/gaps designed on each surface and on the roof of the main building support functional and symbolic value of the light.

Wood is the element that represents spring and life in Chinese Architecture. Wood paths introduced in the design to represent life, bring the feeling of warmth and comfort. It is aimed that wood helps to reduce stress and supports visitors during the journey to themselves.

Q4: How does your design evolve with the changing seasons?

In the landscape design, the use of evergreen species (such as Pine) around the main structure is preferred. This situation represents the strength of people’s feeling and beliefs within themselves. On the other hand, the decidous plants in the existing park which change according to the seasons represent the change in everything in our lives. Although the existing plants in the park vary according to the seasons, the evergreen ones always remain green around the main structure, symbolizing the harmonious existence of people in the changing world against the things that are happening in their lives. In addition, the color change or defoliation of the decidous plants at different times will make the visitors aware of the changes experienced in the world.

Q5: What are the design strategies involved in making the space act as a shell from the exterior/ everyday life?

By using concrete, which is a non-transparent and massive material, it is aimed to create a shell that keeps people away from the outside world. In this way, visitors will be able to return to their inner worlds by disconnecting from the outside. While they are isolated from the outer world by the shell, designed gaps/voids on the main structure enables the outer world to be felt even it is not seen directly. While the main goal of the interior design is to support visitors to focus on their inner self, the narrow terraces which extend outside provides direct connection with the outside world if desired.

Q6: What role does nature play in the intervention?

The gaps/voids created in the main structure create a variety of perception in the interior space by receiving sunlight in different angles at different times during the day. At the same time, the change of seasons and the change of landscape in the park can be observed from these gaps which provides the awareness of return to the inner world and the change in the environment. The voids created in different locations on each surface of the main structure also make the air taken inside to be felt differently. By doing this, it is aimed to provide different sensorial experiences to the visitors on their journey.

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