A Bow to Nature

2019, Turin

Young Architects Competition - 3rd Prize

Program: Sport Centre

Design: ZAAS & Yerce Mimarlık 

Year: 2019

Status: Competition Project

Team: Nail Egemen Yerce, Ayça Taylan, Ege Barkın Tekkökoğlu, İbrahim Beqiri, Nur Gülgör, Özgür Bulut Gümrükcü

From the early stages of modern civilization, Olympics’ famous motto ‘faster, higher, stronger’ reflects the unquenchable appetite of humankind to conquer nature through constructions of different sorts leading to rapid urban developments. However there is a need for a more harmonious relationship between humanbeings and nature. The sports citadel aiming to become Europe’s first and greenest citadel in Europe, will act as a ‘bow to nature’. It will become a habitat for people, flora and fauna in equal measure.

From a swampland into a new sports citadel that will host athletes, different sportspeople and residents from all ages, this complex aims to bring and host ‘movement and continuity’ in unity with nature. Inspired by the surrounding Alps, the buildings create their own topography and blend into the natural local scene. As people move through the citadel, they drift, climb and traverse the terrain, as well as the architecture. The roof of each building is designed to be accessible to vibrant public spaces such as open air courts, playgrounds, concert areas, etc. usable for a multitude of activities. They invite people to climb them, to stroll or run through them while establishing a closer physical and emotional tie with architecture and nature.

The roofs of the buildings are designed to harvest the maximum amount of solar energy through PV cells, while hosting different plants and grass to encourage biodiversity and secure good rainwater management. The complex of buildings comprising the citadel include an arena, sports museum, residences, hotel, classsrooms all of which create the architectural landscape designed to enable the continuity of movement in social life and foster public awareness and engagement in sports.The visitors entering the citadel, are first met by the museum. Through their route to the indoor arena and hotel, they are accompanied by different indoor sports areas as well as outdoor spaces for diverse activities, shops and classrooms. The indoor arena, the ‘red bubble’, is a symbolic landmark of the citadel. This is the place where important matches, competitions, etc. will take place.

Skylights positioned on its roof, allow natural light to enter into the interior creating a visual connection to continuity. The hotel is positioned next to the indoor arena. Embracing the same kind of architectural gesture and bowing to nature, the hotel respectfully offers its roof as an open sports and recreational area. The residential zone designed in the same concept, is well-connected with the other constructs of the citadel through a path that passes from inside Mappano and the program is thus rendered continous as is nature. Reflecting the dynamism of sports and the dynamics of the human body, the design of the citadel aims to create a synthesis of city and nature, of history and future, of building and landscape, of sports, leisure, culture and knowledge.