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School of Foreign Languages

School of Foreign Languages

Project Description

The building sits in a steep site, adjoint to an existing classroom building. Downhill the site faces an important campus square next to an entrance gate. The design exploits this challenging context proposing a morphed and weaved version of the classroom archetype. As it reaches to the ground the building open ups, bisects and expands. This creates multiple public and external spaces at various levels and configurations. Exploiting the landscape levels and context, access is provided into the landscape, adjacent building and to external spaces at multiple levels of the building.The building bifurcates into two programmatic forms, with the taller volume being classroom functions, and lower annexes originally planned as support spaces. The basement is used as a spa and gym for students and staff.

The brief for the building was developed with the client with the aim to provide facilities for the most advanced contemporary technologies with flexible and paperless offices and classrooms. This lead to a research into the optimal spatial geometry to allow for both the use of digital technology variety of seating plans. The design of the interior kept an existing stripped back design specifications in place inherited from the existing buildings on site, in order to seamlessly link the new internal spaces to the existing.

Each floor of the building is identified with it’s own colour. These are related to the flags of the various countries which language is taught at the University as the second foreign language after Turkish and English. The building provides flexible paperless work-spaces for the teachers in open office environments. The office environment for a population of 100 teachers provides multiple ways and opportunities for working styles, giving teachers ways of working when and how they prefer. The solidity of the building is played with as elements of nature, weight, scape and patterns. The two main masses of the building converge over the lower entrance space, creating a powerful gap adjacency over the entrance, reminiscence of natural caves. The same approach can be seen in the “heavy” mass sitting over the very open ground floor café, or the enclosed inner courtyard. The design attempts to bring a sense of space, variety, colour and identity to a dense occupation of a strict archetype. Technology is a driving factor, but is not made to dominate the design aesthetic in any way.


School of Foreign Languages

  • Izmir
  • Turkey
Completion: 2016
Used materials
  • Concrete
  • Facade cladding

Type of Building

Architect Office