Istanbul Gülsuyu Cemevi and Cultural Center
Melike Altınışık Architects + Gül Ertekin
Melike Altınışık with Gül Ertekin
Demet Cekic, Anıl Gülmez, Ali Ucar
Maltepe Municipality announced a competition and challenge local architects to design a religious and cultural complex for Alevi population (a religious minority group practicing Islam) that serves their modern needs while carrying traces of their culture.
Due to the massive immigration of this population to big cities in the last 30 years and their new needs including cultural and social ones, the scale of Alevis' religious buildings,
known as Cemevi has extended and simultaneously they lost their identity as religious buildings.
Despite the fact that the migration to urban centers caused tension between the past and the present as well as the rural and the urban context, this proposal endeavors to present a balanced design within this area.
This competition is seeking for cultural sustainability, using Alevi culture and beliefs as its inspiration.
In this proposal, instead of formal sustainability of the past, cultural sustainability became the core of the design.Moreover, Alevis culture and their values were taken as main principles for the architecture of Cemevi, such as humanism, modesty, socializing, strong connection with nature and the surroundings.
The proposal offers a new designing manner for Cemevi and Cultural Complex with its human scale, expanded, yet united look.
It is consisted of repeating modules to express the unity of the complex while differentiating the religious hall from other units by materials. Pedestrian experience and socializing are important inputs for the project. Roof landscape, terraces that are oriented to the islands view, courtyards, and visible visuals along with physical connections between the functions, create lively public spaces inside the complex for people to interact.