Every soil has a story to tell. From being the tool we use for growing something to a material that has been used for construction, it collects countless memories. Just like the first touch of soil from our childhood memory, till this day, soil preserves its experience and reproduces itself towards future. Even its solely presence is an evidence of how it reminds us that it will always be there, even in different forms.

Strengthening people's relationship with the land; To help humans remember their first contact with the soil in childhood, to reconnect their broken ties with nature, and to connect them not only with the plants growing on the ground; The main purpose of the project is to use different materials, forms, textures and in rare areas depending on the location.

In this center for elderly in Cigli/Izmir, the users' first contact with the soil begins with two large earthen masses at the northern entrance, which appear to be single-storey due to the difference in elevation. Here, soil appears before us as a façade material from an unnatural perspective. Its location, color and texture have changed with the human factor. As you continue along the path, you can see that the facades on our right and left are getting closer to each other and the walking path is getting narrower. Walking from here to a larger square takes the user mentally away from the chaos/concrete view of the city and reminds him that he has entered a different environment with this change of atmosphere. As you continue to descend from the land, the land is seen in its original state, as a terrace garden formed by the topography turning into steps. During this entire journey, the cultivated soil and the original soil balanced each other in harmony; Maintaining the soil, which is an organic material, in an organic plan and shaping the mass accordingly contributed to this balance.


Apart from the main needs of the program, the elderly care center has a soil workshop to reflect the relationship with the soil internally. Thanks to this workshop, users can make painting, pottery, ceramics and similar works in the soil pools with different activities held every week; During this event, it is aimed for them to be able to exchange ideas together, exhibit and talk about their productions. Apart from the workshops and exhibitions, there are conference halls, libraries, common areas, cafes and sports facilities in the project; It enables them to do different cultural/physical activities and, most importantly, provides environments where they can have a pleasant time.

Designer: Elif Arabacı
Instructors: Kamal Eldin Mohamed, Zeynep Durmus Arsan, Sebnem Gur, Ece Gulec

Knowledge of Soil by Elif Arabacı in Turkey won the WA Award Cycle 47. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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Elif Arabacı

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