The ultra modern Raif Dinçkök Yalova Cultural Center in Turkey is a series of facilities contained within a monumental perforated metal box. Used as a screen to shield the programmatic elements from the climate, the box acts as the boundary between the outside and interior worlds, protecting the people that enjoy the complex without completely closing it off. The multi-purpose facility, which was designed by Istanbul-based Emre Arolat Architects, offers a variety of spaces in separate buildings like a mini city connected via ramps and pathways. Lush gardens surround the site and provide a bright and optimistic contrast to the industrial nature of the project and the city itself.
Yalova, which is located on the Sea of Marmara, is an industrial city and is gritty and maybe even a little rough. The cultural center resembles the tough, industrial outer shell of the city, and contains a myriad of elements representative of all that is good in the area within. Inside the large corten steel box is a multi-purpose room for 600 people, a workshop room for 150 people, nuptial and exhibition rooms, a library, an office and a cafeteria. Each space has its own unique building shaped specifically to match its different functions and necessary dimensions . Like a city in a box, there are streets, pathways and public plazas that connect the buildings to each other.
The perforated metal facade acts as a barrier to protect the interior elements, without completely cutting them off from the outside world. Acting as a rain screen, a wind screen, and a sun screen, the box creates a micro climate, but still allows in filtered sunlight and encourages natural ventilation. The semitransparent facade accepts light during the day and at night returns that light out into the surrounding landscape to illuminate the grounds like a beam of light through a veil of tulle. Surrounding the cultural center is a sculptured and lush garden designed specifically to bring joy and optimism to those who visit the grounds.
Images ©Emre Arolat Architects