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Mimar Sinan Müzesi ve Mimarlık Merkezi, Egemen Onur Kaya, eok studio
4th Honorable Mention Awarded
Museum of Sinan the Architect

The place where Sinan was born and grew up, the geography that created Sinan…

“Stone is the destiny of this region. This is the geography of people who have transformed the conditions they had to endure into mastery of life with hope and effort. Regardless of religion, language or belief, the story of these lands has been written in a similar way for thousands of years. Koca Sinan is one of many geniuses who find identiy in the flow of time in which geography shapes people, people shape culture. Just as the sage who patiently trained the stonemasons of Ahlat were the Süphan and Nemrut mountains, the Erciyes and Hasan mountains silently gave a hand to Sinan.”

Doğan Kuban

Basic Approach

This is Sinan district…
The place where the story of Sinan is told step by step, street by street…
There are walls, in order to hear what those walls cannot say, it is necessary to tear off the wall in the mind; the main walls between you and the wall…Walls built with hope and effort, aged walls, walls filled with smell, joy and sadness...Here is the whole story of Koca Sinan. If we could touch, listen, watch and understand the language of those walls that try to tell us something in many parts of Anatolia, then we would be able to tell people about Sinan, Sinan the architect, Sinan the citizen, Sinan the child here today.

You leak into the mass from a street, accompanied by high and low walls… You feel that local neighborhood texture, that naive, humble but dignified stance, gives you the excitement of birth, they are there as if they are telling about the streets where Sinan was born. Then you fall into a larger space. Leaving all those streets behind. Oh Koca Sinan! Master Sinan, whose ingenuity is bigger than his shoulders… Right in front of it is a courtyard, then an old tree, it owns the entire museum, a water flowing in its shadow, the 'Suna' fountain... The tree meets the water this time, like at the square fountain where Sinan met Suna... “…Every time water flow from the fountain that Sinan made, he misses Suna coming there…” As if trying to relieve this longing, the water flows and flows…

This is the Sinan district; In it, classrooms, coffee houses, library, courtyards are connected by streets… Erciyes, the greatest master of Koca Sinan, completes all the deficiencies when he polishes the building with his never-ending salute. While visiting the exhibition, it reminds itself of its beauty, virtue, and Sinan's most beautiful inspiration from every angle. The magnificence of the places should not get in the way of what they tell. Well, it can't pass anyway! The walls, which describe a huge accumulation, are aware of the responsibility they take. They are so heavy, they hit the ground so hard, not to be exalted; This time, their task in the space is to glorify those heavy, stone exhibition walls…

Architectural Concept

On the ground floor, the design integrates with the walls and the landscape through the permeability that provides from the streets. Just like a neighborhood, a "külliye", from the different streets on the ground floor, one can access the classrooms, the library, the workshops, the cafe, the foyer, the common activity area and the multi-purpose hall, and the courtyard where all spaces reach. The connection of all spaces with both the courtyard and the outside allows them to take in natural light and air, and aims to keep the front-door culture of the neighborhood spaces alive by establishing a direct relationship with the landscape.

A child drawing a picture by leaning against the wall in front of the workshop, an old man sitting on the wall in front of the cafe sipping his coffee, a woman walking by looking at what is displayed on the open-air walls just before the foyer, a young man drinking from the Suna Fountain in the courtyard, birds that have nested in the wall cavities are perhaps the actors of this place and the Koca Sinan District to be completed with them.

The artifact reception unit, which faces the open parking lot in the south, is located in the closest mass of the museum building to the road, allowing the artifacts to be taken to an upper floor where the main exhibition space and galleries are located. For visitors, access to this exhibition area is with the staircase between the walls, after entering the foyer and following the information and ticket office. The visitor, who comes to the first gallery after climbing the stairs, can wander through all the galleries with the loop around the courtyard. The design of the Galleries at different heights on the first floor aims to present different periods of Sinan with a different scale and sense of space, like a time travel. While walking around the exhibition area, openings that feel like a crack in the walls reaches a different Erciyes view.

Ecological Approach

It is aimed to include the stone workers of the region in the construction process by choosing the stone material that is frequently used in the region for the ground floor walls. Street walls extending to the prevailing wind direction provide cross ventilation. The 'Suna' courtyard, located at the center of the museum complex, contributes to the cooling of indoor and outdoor spaces. The skylight in the foyer contributes to this space in natural light and ventilation. Skylight and window panels are automated to open and close according to the CO² level of the environment. Considering the cost and safety, the building foundation is placed on the natural ground (coarse gravel sandy unit). The other underground layers which has rocky and volcanic origin, the area where the foundation is not recommended to be placed, were left to the world of trees, plants and living animals that grow in courtyards and streets.

Kayseri, Turkey
4.224 m²
Competition / 4th Honorable Mention
Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality
Team / Collaboration with KAAworks
Egemen Onur Kaya, Bahadır Kantarcı, Ece Avcı, İpek Üstündağ

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