In Arch 301, students develop a project for a public building at a central and complex urban setting. The projects are expected to be driven by extensive analyses of the urban context as well as the brief and the study of the relevant precedents. By the end of the year and with the help of the other third year courses, students are expected to develop an understanding of the city and gain experience in forming architectural positions when tackling with urban conditions.
Students were not given a definitive and common program for the building, but their proposal had to include a gathering space seating around 300 people and an exhibition space. For the rest, they were free to form their individual program proposal. The program proposal and their particular architectural position were to be based on the collective and individual analyses of the site, case studies on similar institutions and typological research on relevant precedents.
There were two site options with different potentials for the students to choose from. Both are in Karaköy and in close proximity with each other. Karaköy is a historical center, a hub of urban and international transportation infrastructure and it accommodates a variety of uses such as schools, religious facilities, cultural institutions, small scale production, restaurants and cafes, retail, office space, hotels and various other branches of the service sector. Consequently the area already has a diverse and rich public life and venues that include gathering and exhibition spaces. The proposals benefit from this existing variety and density. Furthermore, due to its central location, actual and projected big scale interventions, Karaköy is constantly subject to rapid transformation and gentrification that only intensified in the last years. Therefore, it also has a very thematic relation to the program that the students worked with.
Aside from the requirements of the gathering and exhibition spaces, students only had to comply with a restriction regarding the total built area of their proposals, which was to be around 3000 m2. For the final review students were asked to present the relevant outcomes of the collective and individual analyses, their specific architectural approach, program proposal, and the architectural drawings of the proposal in 1/200 detail.