“The location of a building is not some random point in a grid, that doesn’t provide the sense of place; the location of the built form and the reference to the surrounding landscape that is the main concern for the place making.”
Christian Norberg-Schulz, Genius Loci

Is it possible for a building to exist beyond function and form and evoke emotions of a place it belongs to? Meanwhile architecture today is under the risk of evolving to a mass-produced, generic, contextless building form; the project aims to regenerate ‘the spirit of the place’. Taking part in the dominating context of Sinop, the goal is to make a strong gesture in accordance with the physical and cultural heritage of the city. The existence of the building is born from the very first feelings evoked in the site with the ever-raining grey sky, dark ocean hitting the walls of the castle, rocks and stone walls blended. Sinop is a notorious town, famous for its prison of thought crime. The intellectuals of this country were imprisoned, tortured, killed inside the high walls built layer by layer by Lydians, Macedonians, Persians, Byzantines, Seljucks an Ottomans. These walls have memory. They hold the record of wealth with marble, suffering with limestone.

The design of Faculty of Performing Arts is generated to preserve the spirit of the place. Situated on the western adjacent of the Sinop Prison and citadel walls, the walls of the building extend from the land towards the sea giving direction as well as carrying all the masses. The building is allocated on a hillside used previously as parking lot and dumping ground with 20 meters of height difference. The masses are gently placed along the topography with minimum interruption preserving the steepness of Sinop. The program of the building is a faculty of performing arts including faculties of music, dance and theatre. The studio spaces of these studies, an auditorium, offices, lecture halls are the main spatial program. When generating these spaces, the main concern was to create a spatial experience that moves with the sky. There is no solid boundary of the building; the community is invited to fully encounter students and art. Outdoor exhibition spaces on the upper level along with the promenade extending inside the building invite everyone. There is not a solid barrier between the sky and the enclosed space either, rain and the sun was let in. Through addition of 3 layers of timber diagrid shell structure, the students have the chance to exercise, and practice on the terraces of their studios with light and air, they can dance to the rhythm of the rain. The shell structure also enables rain water harvesting for the use of building and community as it is stored and recycled in the underground water tanks.



Project Location: Sinop, Turkey

Öykü Su Ökkan