Final Project Arch201: Phoenix


First of all, I want to refer back to my previous analysis and continue on from there. My Arch201 project started with the idea of analyzing the site in terms of definition, in other words, how do we orientated ourselves and reference our location. I observed that our site has a unique ring formation that first had a subtracting hilly ring that goes down around the site, forms a lake base and then rises again to surpass that original starting point to be mountainous and then go down again to form a second lake that is not deeper than the actual starting point. This gives us a valley, a flat land salty surface, a mountain, and a second smaller crater lake.

Because we are trying to enrich this location’s experience in some reference to the topics that are present in Taskale and Catalhoyuk, I saw that I can base my proposition to the problem in terms of the tension between common flat circulation surface and the isolated single object-like definition that is separated from the topography. This occurs both in Taskale and Catalhoyuk. In Taskale the circulating common slab is vertical and at the surface of a wall like a cliff and this slab is then punctured in smaller holes to provide well-defined spaces that break that continuity. These spaces are formed by the subtraction used as a tool. These holes are very dominantly breaking the continuity of the vertical surface and if observed in an inverted manner it would look like singular objects that are poking through this wall in an isolated way which is the case in Catalhoyuk where the common slab is horizontal and the additive volumes create differentiation from the topography. The topic of an organic topographic common area in contrast to defined spaces that are separated from this condition is also here. The tool is an addition.

Therefore when I looked at Meke Maar, I realized that the flat salty surface is clearly defined by the surrounding valley and the mountain in the middle. When we were walking on the salt our sense of place were very primitive and a person could walk from one place to another without realizing that they have traveled that much. Therefore this area was very commonly open, without much differentiation and definition. In opposite, the mountain and the valley offered differentiation and an object like quality. So I decided that I can investigate these qualities and explore their meaning in my project.

With the information gathered from my topic, I searched the areas where the definition is increasing and separating itself from the topography of the flat commonplace. I found various indents and well-defined areas but they were all having a common quality that passes through the definition. In only one particular area, the definition reaches a peak level and has the ultimate isolation from the whole Meke Maar which is between the mountain and the smaller hill next to it that forms a nook that ends with a barrier.

This condition offered me to have a transitional area that has a changing linear level of definition that starts with the most commonly open and ends with the most isolated and defined. In this way, I can have both cases of extremes and a transition between them.

As the experience slowly became more isolated and defined as is goes I thought that I can make this experience enriched by exemplifying it. So the new thing was to increase the enclosure level of it. Therefore I had the most enclosed isolated object-like spaces at the top end and have a transition from it towards the journey.

At first, I experimented with speaking a very similar language to the topographic formation which is the curvilinear elements because the topography was like a bowl at the end. But as I continued, my spatial variation was lacking and I could not solve it at this stage. Therefore I observed that in Taskale and in Catalhoyuk different kinds of tools were being used in the case of addition and subtraction. So my enriching elements could have a contrasting language of the tool with the topography as well.

I used surfaces which contrasts the organic surface of the topography and reveals itself as it is manmade. As I was trying to obtain a design where manmade spaces were emerging from the topography, I researched the topological design examples that have a high relationship with the manmade part in our universities library. The examples of artificial topographies were very influential in my design approach. They offered a solution that was working in both horizontal and vertical movements. The elements were emerging from the ground to have an organic structure. These examples offered a key role in meeting the gap between object like buildings in cities to the common topography. This was achieved by the uncanny border between the two and the extension of the inferiority ideology to the exteriority. No distinction between the interior and the exterior but still keeping these concepts to the fullest was very fascinating to me.

To first start my journey, I produced possible paths that visitors can take towards the end. These paths were later simplified and abstracted to three paths as the definition level increased. These three paths are the one coming from the mountainside which the most of the people visit, the one coming from the smaller hill and the one that is collected from the middle of them. They react to the topography and collide in some areas which are also taken reference from the topographic lines. They do not have a physical connection when they meet but have their character effected and fragmented. As they collide and split each time their elements become fractured and become more complex. Because I am increasing the level of the enclosure also, this fragmentation allowed me to produce more intricate and high level of complexity in the final stages. In the final stage, the three paths are destined to meet in reaction to the barrier which stimulates the higher level which also allows me to make people overcome the obstacle of the barrier.

At the end, the enclosure level is so high that the only light source is towards looking the front facade and facing the end of the journey to the south. The light is very crucial to my design because this light is only directly affecting my construct from the final stage towards the end between the two mountains. Therefore through the experience, the visitor is encouraged to follow to the end by following the light path. But there are always exits and other possible breakpoints that give the freedom to go away from one path and enter to another. But the paths are located to the human behavior in this area, therefore, people are mostly expected to stay inside the paths.

As the journey reaches the peak point, the return can be done choosing the other two possible routes back to an experience in reverse. Also, the experience is tied back to the circulating character of the Meke Maar having no end by offering an observing open final space and the end to give a new experience of visual connection to the other side of the barrier which is now passable.

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Taşkale & Meke Maar