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Halfetı Communıty Lıbrary

Berkay Kadakal, Tolga Kaya, Beyza Nur Öncel

The northeastern part of Turkey, located in the fertile crescent, is a valuable region known for its geography, culture, and history. Halfeti, situated where the Dicle and Fırat rivers meet, holds historical significance and natural beauty. Despite its potential, Halfeti's importance has been overshadowed in recent times.

In response, the Halfeti Community Library project emerges to connect various aspects of Halfeti's heritage. By designing a library that brings together different factors and ideas, the project aims to raise awareness about Halfeti's geography, history, biology, and gastronomy. Not only with books but also by observing the locals daily practice and also nature itself. Through this initiative, the goal is to rekindle appreciation for Halfeti's unique qualities and its place within the fertile crescent.

What’s the Approach to the Site?
As we approached the site from higher vantage points, our focus encompassed a comprehensive understanding of the diverse geological formations, settlements, and lush vegetation. This encompassed an assessment of the tourist route and the level of attraction it offered. Notably, the Fırat River emerged as a key asset, boasting unparalleled soil compositions and captivating landmarks like Batık Kent, Rumkale, and historic mosques perched upon its waters. These observations were gleaned from both the Atmospheric College
analysis and the 1/20,000 Map (sheet 01).

Upon analyzing the 1/20,000 Map, a significant pattern emerged – visitors predominantly accessed this distinctive site via the shoreline, while new settlements began to sprawl across the hills, diverging from the traditional Old Town area. Recognizing this evolving dynamic, our strategy revolves around enriching the visitor's journey and also raising a awareness in order to future of the locals of Old Town Halfeti. We aim to extend the route, seamlessly integrating the old Halfeti town, represented in orange on the map which is our project site. This approach seeks to foster a more immersive exploration of the area, drawing attention to its unique topography and historical treasures, thereby enhancing the overall experience for visitors.

What’s the Design Strategy?
The Halfeti Community Library creates three vital connections: the "Observation Axis" harmonizes camping, nature, and history into a complete experience; the "Historic Axis" intertwines nature and history, revealing ancient wisdom; and the "Nature Axis" nurtures a serene bond between campers and nature, revitalizing spirits. These axes together craft a transformative journey, celebrating observation, history, and nature in Halfeti (Sheet 02).

Named the "Halfeti Community Library," this endeavor stands as a bridge uniting various factors through its multifaceted functions. Engagement with the library offers individuals insights into the daily lives of local residents, fostering valuable learning experiences. The architectural design underscores transparency, providing unobstructed views that not only enhance Halfeti's geography but also strategically position functions along specific coasts, offering optimal vistas for different groups. Each function's placement is meticulously chosen for picturesque views and easy access (Sheet 02).

Moreover, the library project extends its influence to the landscape of the shorelines, crafting inviting public spaces for all to enjoy. In this comprehensive approach, the Halfeti Community Library becomes a catalyst for connection, education, and appreciation, seamlessly merging history, nature, and community in the captivating backdrop of Halfeti (Sheet 02).

What’s the Structural System?
In addition, our project features an innovative wooden structural system that seamlessly links three beams with four columns. This specialized tectonic approach provides enhanced reinforcement, allowing us to create expansive interior spaces while maintaining flexibility. Beyond its impressive span capabilities, wood as a material perfectly complements Halfeti's historic beige stone structures. This is particularly important considering our coastal location, as wood's lightweight properties play a key role in the design, harmonizing with the surrounding seascape.

How “Halfeti Community Library” Changing the Existing Circumstances of Halfeti?
The current state of the Old Town Halfeti reveals a disconnect among its three distinct shorelines, each possessing unique characteristics. Through architectural intervention, we aim to bridge these divides, facilitating seamless connectivity between the Old Town Halfeti and its neighboring shores. This endeavor not only fosters accessibility but also nurtures a profound bond between the local community and the diverse coastal landscapes, creating a harmonious linkage that enriches the overall experience.

The Old Town Halfeti currently finds itself in a state of neglect, affecting both the town and its local inhabitants. Through our proposed connections, we strive to breathe new life into this cherished enclave by engaging various stakeholders, including visitors. This engagement takes the form of immersive experiences, wherein individuals not only delve into books covering Halfeti's history, geography, and gastronomy, but also partake in firsthand learning from nature through carefully designed forest ramps. Moreover, the locals' daily practices, especially in the realm of gastronomy, contribute to this multifaceted educational journey.

This concerted effort aims to cultivate a profound awareness about Halfeti, fostering a sense of care and concern for the Old Town and its overlooked plight. By bridging the gap between knowledge and experience, we envision a reversal of the current state of neglect, propelling the Old Town Halfeti towards a brighter and more appreciated future, anchored in revived interest and a protecting sense of purpose.

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