Mardin is a salient cultural and architectural cornerstone of Turkish heritage. The Mor Gabriel Monastery is considered one of the most characteristic structures in Mardin to date.

Established toward the end of the 3rd century, it is situated on high ground about a twenty minute car ride from the city center. Today, the Mor Gabriel Monastery is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world. The design intent of the project is to emphasize the importance of topography as it relates to monastery life. On the same token, designing an additional structure that enhances the Mor Gabriel Monastery visitor experience was a balancing act mandating careful consideration to the structure’s historic context.

Its’ minimal intervention seeks to establish a clear threshold for visitors as they circulate around the base of the monastery. The prolific use of local stone can be seen almost anywhere you look within Mardin’s cityscape. The architectural texture as such greatly inspired the design of the visitor center. The architectural term “IWAN” means “vaulted or domed space recessed from a central hall or court.” This design concept dates back to the Seljuk Era and is one of the most significant elements that denotes the city’s landmark architectural structures. The topography of the site complements the simple multi-staged housing courters with open terraces.




MORGRABRIEL MONASTERY VISITER’S CENTER by Ergün Architecture in Turkey won the WA Award Cycle 27. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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