Daylight in buildings - Region 2: Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Bahadır Can Gülenç
Emine Şevval Baysal
Esmahan Hazal Avcu

Burçin Başyazıcı

Yeditepe University


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Have you ever wondered about the source of daylight, which is in so much of our lives but for which we don’t have a great deal of gratitude because we generally use it? The sun is a star that has had different meanings in many societies and cultures from time immemorial. We are talking about many meanings such as time, life, birth, power, death, resurrection. But the most effective is the divine meanings attributed to the sun. Some societies felt the glory of the sun so much that they considered it a god. Judging by the circumstances of their time, they were right because in the presence of the sun they were in a more defensible position against dangers and could safely handle their jobs such as hunting and shelter. The absence of the sun was certainly frightening. For such reasons, they regarded it as a god and prayed to it. Even in some phases of the sun (such as solar eclipse, lunar eclipse), there were situations where they thought that God was punishing them and they repented. We were very impressed by the divine meaning of the sun, which conveys such a strong emotion to people. For this reason, we wanted to create a belief center that uses daylight differently. We decided to build this center in Istanbul, which is sacred to many faiths. In Istanbul, we chose Galata, which is a touristic area.Let’s imagine a structure in which a person with any belief in the world can come here and earn what he believes as he wishes and live his beliefs together or individually. We wanted to create this unifying power by being inspired by the tree named Yggdrasil. This name means tree of life in Norse mythology. This is the main reason why we use this tree, which is believed to unite 9 realms. In addition, the atmosphere that the tree represents, which creates a sense of magnificence, peace and trust, also had an impact.When you enter the building, a structure surrounded by glass on four sides welcomes you, which can receive light from every angle during the day. This is a space where people can interact collectively and do something together. There is a tree in the middle. There is a small opening around this tree. In this way, if the weather is cold, it is cold inside, and if it is hot, it is warm inside. There is actually a natural atmosphere created. In addition, we aim to create different feelings with the reflections of the light that occurs inside during the seasons when the leaves of this tree, which changes as the seasons change, fall.Right behind the building, there are rooms where people can practice their beliefs individually. The fact that these rooms are underground means an important thing. We wanted to create something as opposed to religious buildings usually consisting of high floors, and being majestic buildings. Faith is an individual and humble thing. And it need not be the most dominant thing in any way. That’s why we tried to create a place where people integrate with themselves in a more secluded place by going underground instead of going above the ground. These rooms are located in different positions at different angles according to different beliefs. The angle and intensity at which each receives the light is also at a different level. While some are darker and cut more light, others are in closer contact with the light and the sun, thanks to their high-ceilinged structures made entirely of glass.