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Location: Konya, Karapinar
Project type: Management
Employer: Kalyon Solar Technologies
Project year: 2021
Construction area: 4000 m²
Land area: 12000 m²
Status: National Pre-selection Competition Honorable Mention

Project team: 
Kemal Bal, Nil Bıçak, Erol Kalmaz, Arzu Güler, Doruk Kemal Kaplan, Mehmet Okumuş, İdil Bayar, Dilan Özdemir


We promised two things in the pre-election text, one about geography and the other about climate. To earth and sky...

A new 2 million m2 “rug” is being laid on the Karapınar plain, where Karacadağ is adorned with potholes and mounds, and where clusters of cities and villages and wheat fields are settled haphazardly. At the initial stage, when many things were still uncertain, we dreamed of articulating this new tissue with a transformative axis. An axis that will add an "irregularity" beyond calculation to the pure mathematical pattern of the technique and make it "belonging to its place"... We have captured this axis as a river that reaches the building from the city road and flows through the body of the building and into the panel field.

The pattern of the field, the orientation of the parcel and the "Path of the Sun"

After sharing the draft site plan, which clarified the parcel boundaries where the building will be located, the quality and quantity of the program and the characteristics of the immediate environment, we started to explore the possibilities of the “out of account” transformative axis that we considered within the scope of the campus. The line that we originally imagined on the north-south axis, traversing the plot in the long direction; With the effect of sensitivities such as the indoor/outdoor visitor circulation scale, the ability to overlap with the mathematics in the panel layout, the ability to put Karacadağ into perspective, and the overlapping with the sunrise and sunset directions, we have turned the parcel into a direction that traverses in the short direction.

The parcel given for the building is normally parallel to the Karapınar motorway. However, the single panels of the 20 million m2 field are aligned on the grid formed by east-west and north-south directions, focusing on the daily motion of the Sun. We prioritized that the building, which will be the "brain" of all these panelists, speaks the same language with this layout pattern. Thus, the trace of the building appeared as a square located within the boundaries of the existing parcel at an angle of almost 45° to the parcel direction. The “river” that reaches this square from the Karapınar road passed through the building and divided the panel field in two short directions. The organs and the brain were connected on a "spine". This “river-road” became the building's word for the Sun. Throughout the text of the project, we called this circulation axis “Solar Path”. All the environmental and internal roads designed within the panel field lead to the "Solar Path".

architectural tectonic

At the foot of Karacadağ, a limestone rock seems to have been carved into a prism, a form alien to “nature” in the sense that it is unique to humans. A prism of white stone, hollowed out in several places. We aimed to solve all functions in a single mass so that the structure is not lost in the huge scale of the field and achieves a reasonable mass relativity. In this context, we have included the functions of "maintenance workshop and cafeteria", which are expected to be located on the parcel, in addition to the needs program, into this monolithic mass.

Relationship between “Solar Path” and need program

We basically reduced the requirement program into two classes.

1.Primary Functions: Administrative, business, in the parcel although not in the competition program

The maintenance workshops that are expected to be located are the service and technical areas that feed all these areas. These functions are for staff with a corporate routine.

2. Transformative Functions: It is the set of functions that will provide the transfer of the vision of “renewable energy for sustainable life” undertaken by the project to the society, and which will house an event hall, foyer, viewing area and cafeteria for different quality and quantity visitors at different time intervals.

The “Solar Path” separates these two sets of functions. Between two beams lowered as much as possible to the ground, the "Solar Path" adds an unusual scale and value to the daily circulation between essential functions and transformative functions, with a height of 5 people, the roof opening and the dramatic trace of the daily circulation of the sun inside the building. The routine users and visitors of the building encounter the magnificence of the sun moment by moment as they roam.

Introvert-Extrovert function distinction

While the "primary functions" are inward with the clustering of small-scale spaces around courtyards, the "transformative functions" have a large-scale space setup that can turn into a singular volume by adding them together and open outwards towards the solar panel field. The south ground terrace, which is retracted into shade, is supported by an open area with the possibility of expansion in the spring. This open space is shaded by a focal tree. Another terrace is the “balcony” positioned one floor above the end of the “Sun Road” and accessed by a ladder from the southern ground terrace. This hollow in the monolithic mass sees the solar panel field towards the city center in the south and greets Karacadağ in the east.

With the clear distinction in the function scheme, we also aimed to minimize energy consumption by completely closing the visitor spaces for long periods of time when there are no visitors. In order to achieve this, we have differentiated “transformative functions” with their own service and technical areas. We have solved the event hall, which can turn into a singular space with its foyer. Together with the entrance lobby, we opened the common area with one side to the "Sun Road" and the other side to the campus.

Roof - laying a rug on the plain

The building mass is a 64mx64m square prism formed by the coming together of different scaled volumes, inner courtyards, the “Sun Path” and perimeter terraces drawn into the shade. Each space, depending on its scale, has a skylight positioned to receive the diffuse northern light and morning light. The event area and foyer open directly to the façade. Offices, on the other hand, get their natural light and fresh air needs from the inner courtyards, to which they give at least one perimeter. Scada venues and dining halls also face a sheltered landscape with a courtyard. Unlike the courtyard solution in the offices, the business manager and the board rooms have a facade opening facing the solar panel field from the east. With the "Solar Path", all skylights are thought to be openable with mechanical systems, especially during the transition seasons, and it is aimed to enable natural air conditioning with minimum energy consumption. It has been discussed that the "Solar Path", which traverses the entire mass in plan and section plane, can work as a wind chimney.

Building section on the plain

The plain, the possibility of the building to spread, the tendency to open the view from the bottom of the beams lowered to the height of the door as much as possible in this great plain, prioritized solving the entire program on a single level. (We have positioned the south balcony at the intermediate level to provide a view where only the dimensions of the panel field can be perceived.)

Service Front

The building gives its back to the switchgear area in the north and incorporates personnel entrance, cafeteria service and maintenance workshops and other technical area services from this direction. The needed open parking areas were solved in this service space between the building and the switchyard. The new service road was overlapped with the service road designed for the switchgear area.

Spatialization of the scada function

Scada is the core component of the system, with its central control room and accompanying small spaces. It is a functional group where the engineering skills behind the campus can be seen. In the project, while keeping the internal working environment of Scada functions on a daily scale around a courtyard, we transformed its walls into a screen that extends inwards, starting from the entrance facade of the building. This screen-facade faces the entrance, lobby and foyer, it is an interactive façade surface where the data on the interior control screens are interpreted and represented. The entrance façade cavity of the stone mass that we have been accustomed to for a long time shows the digital face of this contemporary world. Behind this mediated digital presentation are control screens with more direct representation, the people reading and managing those screens, and further a cool courtyard shaded by a tree in the middle. The unchanging “nature” right next to our advancing “2nd nature”.

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