• 20130615-003

Urban Room

Partner in Charge: Aras Burak, Aris Kozmidis
Structural Engineer: Scobie Alvis
Tutor: Jonathan Dawes, Marco Guarreri (AA Intermediate 6, 2008-2009)
Project Support: Maria Panagiota Brewster, Aine O’Dwyer


A hotel for frequent travellers, the public cube and the London Underground Station, Tower Hill is merged together. We have experienced the public square for centuries, how about experiencing the public cube? Is there any way of designing an urban room that will become a free space any time of the day to hang around safely.

We define the busy mornings and evenings of the station as urban tide. The term is coined for defining the exact moments in a typical London work day, where the building meets with masses. During the night time and afternoons the tide disappears allowing slower paced programmes to take place on site.

We have proposed shortcuts, backstage conditions for the hotel workers within the public cube. The precedents are taken from our visits with AA from Tokyo’s Shibuya Square.

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Camlica Mosque



partner in charge:
Aras Burak

local architect:
Elif Demir

The design of a mosque has always been a hot topic for discussion in Turkey. The arguments in terms of style are always trapped between the traditional vs. modern choice.
Our interest was to propose only a great space with no tricks of numbers, secret meanings, mystical decision.
The greatest dome that can ever be imagined is the sky. Therefore we did not propopse a new dome, instead: we proposed a window to the sky.
The site was lacking a urban context that can help us direct the building’s design. Instead of seeing our proposal as an urban structure, we were not ashamed to define it as a sculpture + mosque on Camlica Hill of Istanbul.
The semi-open dome is located between the open courtyard and the indoor space for prayers. This semi-open dome frames the sky with five openings. Funeral ceremonies are to take place here.
In plan, the building is divided into four parts, one semi-open dome, one open courtyard, one indoor space for prayers and the last one as a social, secular space for conferences, activities.
These four sections are surrounded by the honeycomb shaped units where hallways, staircases and lifts are also located. This frame also incorporates the classrooms into the design.
Roof has a 100mm deep decorative pool to prevent access to the minaret and the semi-open dome’s sculptural part.
The dome that is facing inwards is an outdoor amphitheatre. Also for tourists, it could’ve been an ideal location to witness the time of praying. We tried to keep this quarter of the building’s accesses and programme seperate from the rest of the building.