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The design of the TNR transmits the history and depth of our cultural heritage into the 21st century. This will be a timeless cultural expression of the universal values present in our literature, poetry, music, crafts and architecture. The preliminary design for the TNR completed in 2001 followed the suggestions of art historian Dr. Deniz Esemenli, based on the Enderun (Ahmet the Third) library. Subsequently, as the result of an invited competition, a team of architects, Affan Yatman, Nesrin Yatman, and Professor Yıldırım Yavuz developed a proposal for a "complex series of spaces inspired by the domestic traditions of the fully developed Turkish House." The final design of the room, by Ömer Akın, Professor at Carnegie Melon, represents, like its predecessors, interior qualities of the Turkish culture.

The Preliminary Design (2001)

The Winner Design in Competition (2003)

The Final Design (2005)

Even though the spatial concept of the Turkish Nationality Room has been based on the traditional Turkish room, called "hayat", it will be used as a contemporary classroom. The Turkish hayat had a specific rural character, with its open gallery on the upper floor, facing an adjacent garden and viewing the rural landscape in the distance. With its ample width and usually with an iwan opening into it at its central axis, the hayat was always the center of daily domestic activity.

The Turkish Nationality Room has been planned according to the principles of a simple hayat house with an outer gallery and a side iwan that is intended to be used as an entrance area. A fine example to this solution is the royal pavillion, annexed to the Yeni Cami in Eminönü-Istanbul, which was built in 1663, for the use of Sultan Mehmet IV.

In the Turkish Nationality Room, the main entrance area is also planned as an iwan that directly opens into a gallery (hayat), stretching the whole length of the exterior wall. The main classroom, which is placed within the space of the larger room, is first observed from the rear, through this iwan. A timber direklik seperates the entrance iwan from the main classroom and it continues on the hayat side as well, to allow the viewing of the rich interior space from a different angle.

Latticed screens are placed in between the timber columns, partially to hide the existing exterior wall of the building, while filtering in a soft, pleasant light, and partially to strengthen the image of an open gallery (hayat) extending the full length of the TNR at its outer edge. The existing bay window at the center is treated as a projecting kiosk, which is a common feature in many of the hayat type houses.

From the end of the entrance iwan to the beginning of the pabuçluk of the main classroom, the hayat is designed as a ramp that rises 15 cm., to comply with the requirements of the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA). This is where the professor also lectures the class. From this frontal area, the timber platform (seki) with a U shaped divan (sedir) rises up another 15 cm. The rear wall of the pabuçluk is designed as a storage area, like in the traditional Turkish room, with cupboards and display niches. The rear wall of the larger room, to the left of the entrance iwan, is designed similarly with cupboards and display niches. The central cabinet here is meant to store the projectors and other similar audio-visual lecture-room equipment.

Turkish Nationality Room dedication book is available in Adobe PDF format (838 Kb)

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