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The Cocoon

Firdevs Aydın, Hakan Koç, Tuğçe Sena Özdemir & Mert Tunay

This competition aims to understand the spaces of the built environment and its healing effect on the human mind and behavior. It is aimed to design a retreat center taking into account the recent Kahramanmaras earthquake in Türkiye , the effects of a possible new earthquake disaster and the psychological problems of people.

While designing this retreat center, İstanbul, which is seen as a possible earthquake zone in Türkiye and has the highest density of people, was chosen for the interesting location selection expected by the competition. When you go deeper into the city, İstiklal street in Beyoğlu district, which consists of crowded and historical texture, was chosen as the location of the design.

İstiklal street, one of the most famous streets of the city; It is on the historical taksim tram line as well as containing many inns, commercial areas and consulate buildings. It is located in the center of a dense concentration of people and buildings in a cramped and contiguous order.

Unlike most of the retreat center projects done so far, instead of escaping from density and congestion, it was aimed to address this problem and enable people to meet with retreat. A retreat center was designed to invite people to a peaceful journey away from the chaos, congestion and density on İstiklal Street.

The form of the building was determined by taking into consideration that it is in a contiguous order and within the historical texture. Considering the floor heights of Narmanlı Han and Terzi Han, a gradual three dimension was created. This gradation also flows into the building itself. The building consists of a core with service units and mobile cocoons.

The concepts of withdrawal and self-orientation in the basic meaning of seclusion are handled with the cocoon metaphor. In the phase of being in a cocoon, it is aimed for people to get away from the outside world and enter the healing process. Cocoons are conceived as spaces that offer alternatives to people with functions that change according to the wishes of the person using technology.

The user profile of the building is determined by the users of the surrounding area. Users get away from the chaos and crowds of Istiklal Street and meet the retreat center designed within the congestion. While experiencing the interior of the building, they encounter vertically moving cocoons.

Users retreat with the movement of the cocoon they prefer. Digital therapy cocoons offer the opportunity to embark on a journey of individual discovery. Online and face-to-face therapy sessions are accompanied by an expert. With the terrace on the last floor, it is aimed to experience the city and istiklal street from a different perspective.

A wood forest is created within the site, referencing nature. This universal architectural approach combining modern wooden structures with natural and contemporary elements gives the center a characteristic atmosphere.

When we look at the plans, the interaction between the front and back of the building is ensured by connecting the density and chaos on istiklal street to the garden at the back with the axis designed in the center of the building. A core with service spaces is designed on the right side. The starting movement of the cocoons is provided from the ground floor.

While the user is informed about the space with the help of the introductory brochure received from the information desk, he/she can choose the location of the cocoon, the type of therapy he/she prefers in his/her cocoon (for example, individual or with a counselor) and the sound view of the environment with the tablet. Catwalks have been designed for the user to experience the space when they stand in the cocoons, which start their movement on the ground floor.

The floor plans show the cocoons at different levels. There is a water wall and a green wall on the left side of the building. The service core provides circulation between the ground floor, basement and 14.00 level. The terrace at 14.00 level functions as a social area. Solar panels on the roof of the building contribute to the self-sufficiency of the building.

In order for the user to feel safe inside the cocoons, the cocoons are connected to the carrier columns on the sides with a roller system so that they do not oscillate. Thus, users can experience the space safely with the cocoons during vertical movement.

The four facades and ceiling of the cocoons consist of glass panels. This gives the user the opportunity to experience the space while inside the cocoon. And the glass panels are connected to the tablet screen and can optionally transform into different spaces and virtual environments.

Thanks to the gradation in the building, the 4 cocoons on the left side can move between the ground and 10.50 levels, while the other cocoon on the right can move between the ground and 14.00 levels.

Inspired by nature, the wooden structure forest is designed to be earthquake resistant by rigidly connecting wooden columns and beams by overlapping each other. Glulam laminated timber is used in this structure system.

In the corner junction formed by the vertical axis system built inside the building in the adjacent order, a wall where green and water stand together has been built. The wall is staggered between the axes and a forest perception is created within itself. The wall contributes to the atmosphere and air flow of the space. This wall contributes to the healing power of the space.

Social areas such as the backyard created on the ground floor and the terrace designed on the 14.00 level contribute to the experience of the space and the healing process. In line with the requirements of the adjoining order, the gradation from Narmanlı Han to Terzi Han has been decisive in the shape and exposed structure of the building. The vertical movement in the interior space is reflected on the facade of the building by exploding the wooden panels towards the street.

The gradation in the three dimensions of the building is also read on the facade of the building. In the part where the core is located, the facade is left more open so that the core can be read from the outside. In the part of the building that touches Narmanlı Han, the natural light coming directly into the building from the exposed structure part of the building has contributed to the healing process while healing the building itself.

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