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Forum HQ for the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC)

Part 2 Project 2008
Damjan Iliev
University of Westminster | UK
The project aims to carry out studies on the nature of human cognition, in particular the limitations of peripheral vision. Various experiments challenge preconceived notions of visual perception through the methods of reflection, refraction and distortion. A series of isomorphic models construct optical illusion based on projected geometries that visually alternate from various points. These studies lead to the investigation of specific panoramic viewing points within and around the Asian side of Istanbul: less touristy yet much larger, it offers less infrastructure and vitality. The project is a part of a larger redevelopment agenda that is intended to complete works by summer 2010 before Istanbul becomes the European Capital of Culture.

A mixed-use development is proposed, mostly dedicated to the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) as their permanent headquarters. As the OIC congregates only a few times a year, it is imperative that the debating chamber has another function that will give the venue a purpose outside of the OIC's framework and programme. The conference centre, an open amphitheatre, and further business and tourism infrastructures create an environment where members of the public can interact with the OIC's member states: where private and public, tourism and business, East and West meet.

Damjan Iliev

As the only international hub situated on two continents simultaneously, Istanbul provides an extraordinary complex cultural setting in terms of its social, ethnic/religious and urban ambit. Damjan’s project for the Forum HQ for the Organization of Islamic Conferences masterfully integrates the city’s rich historic past with its increasing importance in world-wide politics; it interprets notions of local identity and global dimension. His portfolio is a very rigorous document that combines such concepts as investigations into 'de-focus' and cognitive illusions, synthesising a highly articulated tectonic proposition. For us, Damjan is a ‘complete’ architect who is able to theorise, project and build spaces that go beyond constraints of functionality and style. His project creates a vision that ultimately captures the sublime nature of Istanbul’s atmospherics.


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