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Steps to the Bosphorous -Forum for Spiritual Enlightenment, Istanbul

Part 2 Project 2003
Andrew Ardill
Christopher Rawlinson
Queen's University Belfast, UK
This project looked at creating a solution to a very new building typology - a spiritual meeting place for all religious faiths, centred in the city of Istanbul -a crossroads between Eastern and Western civilisations.

At international level, it could create an open, unbiased atmosphere for the study and interaction of world religions and cultures through conferences, meetings and shared services.

The solution was generated by three main themes: 1.Interaction with site and landscape. 2. Creation of universally spiritual spaces 3. Reinterpretation of traditional (sustainable) approaches to building in sub-tropical climates.

If Turkey becomes part of Europe, perhaps it could fund such a project.

In our troubled world, now seems to be the optimum time for this kind of building.

Andrew Ardill
Christopher Rawlinson

In the peninsula context and with a backdrop of the Topkapi Palace, the question posed was: is this a building one goes to or a building one comes from? Andrew's response to this was to create a building as a layered landscape, a constructed terrain, anchored back to the hill yet stretching out to touch, but not quite, the land-mass edge. The open strata draw cool air from the sea, deep into the complex, and the holes that penetrate the filo vertically, connecting earth and sky, become natural chimneys, lightwells and simply beautiful spaces for retreat. A remarkably elegant solution to a vast and complex brief on a most challenging site.
Tutor and Final Year Co-Ordinator: Jane Burnside RIBA Rome Scholar


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