TOTAL PRIZES 10.000 $
This international competition calls on young architects from around the world to envision a new natural environment based on living in a scenic and magical landscape with the guest house dwelling as the focus. The “Re-imagining Cappadocia” competition seeks to extend design insight into architecture embedded and in harmony with the Cappadocian landscape as the focus of guest house design.
Re-imagining Cappadocia is the international one-stage competition organized by the GAD Foundation in cooperation with Indigo Group that takes place in the Cappadocia Region of Turkey, aims to draw young professionals with a degree in architecture studies (≤ 35 years old) to propose architecture projects with the purpose of increased sustainability, efficiency, microclimatic solutions and respect for geological and ecological factors. The competition is set in the Avanos district of the Cappadocia Region of Turkey, in a typical Anatolian landscape.
Avanos is a town and district of Nevşehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, located 18 km (11 mi) north of Nevşehir, the capital city of the province. It is situated within the historic and tourist region of Cappadocia. According to the 2000 census, the population of the district is 35,145 of which 12,288 live in the town of Avanos. The district covers an area of 994 km2 (384 sq mi), and the average elevation is 920 m (3,018 ft), with the highest point being Mt. İsmail Sivrisi at 1,756 m (5,761 ft).The old city of Avanos, whose name in ancient times was Venessa, overlooks the longest river in Turkey, the Kızılırmak (Red River), which also separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia. The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery; it is also the most economic activity in the town.
The story starts with the endeavor of human beings taking shelter in naturalcaves, competing for them against wild animals, storing the food from scavenging and hunting, or benefiting from rocky spurs to use them as a shield against the harshness of the weather. Followed by this greatest show on earth, dwelling culture has been the upgraded version of human communities and is shared by different civilizations throughout the world. It is only one among the various codes of different cultures, as others had the tepee (in America), Igloos (in Canada), Hanok (in Korea), Rondavels (in South Africa), or the yurt (in Central Asia). Rupestrian and hypogeal sites were realized in which geology grant for excavation, or the earth was soft enough for carving (rupestrian, 2012). As civilization faced nature’s vulnerability and human’s detrimental effect performing its role at the center of this story, the ludicrousness of modern urban was started questioned.
Indeed, there seems to be increasing interest for humans to escape from the urban environment and suffocate and alienate everyday life. Confinement, silence, and intuitively returning to scenic, fairy, recreative natural spaces are needed. Humans demand reconnecting with one’s affection for supernatural fascinations. Notoriously, Cappadocia is garnished with the most intriguing scenarios. Cappadocia offers possibilities that contemporary humanity can “quarry” something more valuable and finds that sense of peace and harmony in contemporary society has somehow been jeopardized. In this sense, this is the goal of the “Re-imagining Cappadocia” competition to procure ideas of Cappadocian geological and contextual masterpieces into a retreat and meditation destination for people searching for meaningful experiences away from contemporaneity and immersed in the mystic beauty of a timeless nature.
The building is one of the very few endeavors that are physically connected to the surface of the earth, fixed, and enduring. Yet it seems as if we have a simplistic understanding of its true workings. The ground is often used as a passive foundation for going higher, but we can also dig deeper into the rich and endless possibilities of buildings that merge with their surroundings and the earth.
For millennia, people have tried to move away from an environment seen as insecure and hostile. It started as a retreat from natural elements, and now we retreat from each other. We know we need to reconfigure our position about nature, and after a long period of destructive behavior, things have started to shift. (Mastenbroek, 2021)
Cappadocia located in the center of Turkey with its history going back to antiquity is one of the most important historical centers. The unique geology and geography of its landscape have affected various housing styles emerging in Cappadocia. Soft stone wearing away over thousands of years has become the iconic form that has become a symbol of Cappadocia and the civilizations in the center of Turkey.
In the Roman period, Cappadocia became the escape and refuge for early Christianity from religious persecution. According to the archaeological research of early Christian civilization, around 3000 stone houses inside and under the ground in the region shaped like churches and chapels became shelters for Areligious rituals as a network of large underground cities.
Avanos, where the project site is located, is part of this unique geographical and topographical settlement of Cappadocia in the Nevsehir Province where majestic landscapes and evocative remains of rooted-back civilizations shine with its physical disposition and creation dating back to a million years. In Hittite and The region has a characteristic common to the whole region of Cappadocia represented by fairy chimneys, created by surrounding volcanoes and giving a well-known geological and topographical feature to the region. The town, Avanos, was founded on the Red River Plateau and located 18 kilometers north of Nevsehir, has proximity to other touristic destinations. Avanos close to the heritage sites of Göreme National Park is dominated by Özkonak Underground City discovered in 1972 by a local farmer. Entered the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985, Goreme Open Air Museum contains important Byzantine monastic settlements in Cappadoccia. Its decorated colorful frescoes, cave churches, and rock-hewn sanctuaries provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Avanos is a crystal-clear example of harmony with the landscape in combining human interaction and settlement with dramatic natural landforms. The ancient city built into the northern slopes of Mt. Idis and built by the people of Byzantine Cappadocia has a water well, ventilation system, winery, and moving stone doors. According to the locals, the site was considered a source of “healing water” and “Ceasar’s bath”.
As a result of erosion and earthquakes, parts of these morphological formations are now in the open air. In Byzantine times, they served as both cloisters and residential spaces. The fairy chimneys that are dotted around the countryside add a unique and particular character to the area. It was likely constructed out of tuff (a form of rock particular to the region) and used to secure the fortress’s water supply and act as a link to the outside world. Many dovecotes have been carved into the valley’s cliff faces over the years creating large frontal surfaces. Many niches are formed inside these surfaces for local birds to roost in.
Avanos region is an important area representing the characteristics of the tertiary cover units and their relationship to the basement rocks of the Central Anatolian Crystalline Complex including alkaline plutonic rocks in the area. In the area, particularly along the Central Kızılırmak river, or “Red River,” travertine rock formation occurrence is visible. In Ziyaret Tepe and Göynük area, marble formations as blocks are observed (Göncüoğlu et al., 1993, Toprak, 1994). The geological formations Avanos in general have the characteristics of CACC with its complexity in petrographidal, mineralogical and structural features.
The river Kızılırmak, which is the longest river in the second largest basin in Turkey, transects the Avanos region and is an important morphological asset by its sedimentological-stratigraphical characters. While the Kızılırmak has played a significant role in shaping the region’s identity, development, and economic structure of the settlement, it determined the morphological and physical structure of the settlement of Avanos located on the river’s banks. Water resources, streams, river banks, and particularly groundwater generating geothermal strata are fed by this long-dated water body, Kizilirmak. This strong relationship with water and its determinant role in the morphological and geological identity of the Avanos with an emphasis on the ecological, contextual, environmental, spatial, and innovative issues shape one of the core notions of this competition.
We are in a period when new experiences are required for an ever expanding global culture. Especially within this context, the Avanos region presents impressive experiences regarding human-nature interaction and comfort with the effect of the environment end ecology. The underground water is a geothermal energy source for natural thermal hot springs observed in the region making water an important natural resource that must be seen as a symbol of architecture. For this reason, water is used as a visible feature with a symbolic and spatial effect. A healthy microclimate is to be created with the combination of the natural geothermal underground water and the dry air of the high Cappadocia plateau. The natural rock texture while connecting the potential spaces with the effects of skylights opens up and creates a surprising and magical visual effect. A thermal spring and natural dams in the region become the basis of the lagoon that was integrated into the project.
We are in a period when new experiences are required for an ever- expanding global culture. Especially within this context, the Avanos region presents impressive experiences regarding human-nature interaction and comfort with the effect of the environment end ecology. The underground water is a geothermal energy source for natural thermal hot springs observed in the region making water an important natural resource that must be seen as a symbol of architecture. For this reason, water is used as a visible feature with a symbolic and spatial effect. A healthy microclimate is to be created with the combination of the natural geothermal underground water and the dry air of the high Cappadocia plateau. The natural rock texture while connecting the potential spaces with the effects of skylights opens up and creates a surprising and magical visual effect. A thermal spring and natural dams in the region become the basis of the lagoon that was integrated into the project.
INDIGO GROUP of COMPANIES
The Indigo Group was founded by CEO, Mr. Ömer Tosun, in Cappadocia in 1992. From its very first day, Indigo Group has successfully been a pioneer with every investment made, especially with its tourism initiatives in the Cappadocia Region. As well as the tourism industry, Indigo Group has invested in the sectors of geothermal energy and agriculture & viniculture and owns the brands Museum Hotel, Indigo Geothermal, Matiana Travel, Boutique Style Travel, Lil’a Restaurant, Indigo Agriculture, Indigo Gallery, Cross Golf, and le Musee. Always acting on the principle of investing in the most original, and innovative ideas, the group aims to carry out quality original projects, especially in luxury tourism and geothermal energy.
“Whatever you do, always do the best and the most original!”Omer TosunFounder of INDIGO
Indigo Group of Companies
Indigo Group of Companies
All awarded projects will be sent to websites, magazines and architectural platforms. Furthermore, they can be displayed in national and international architectural events.