Tamara Polat | Portfolio
THESIS PROJECT - ARMENIAN CULTURAL CENTER in ISTANBUL, TURKEY
The design concept for the Armenian Cultural Center is a Dove.
Primary symbolic meaning of doves stem in ancient cultures due to their voices. The doveís cooing has lulled the ears of humanity for hundreds of years, and as such finds meanings such as comfort and reassurance.
The Native American believed that the cooing of the Dove could coax the rain from the skies.
Other cultures such as the Ancient Celts believed the voice of the Dove was a mourning call. When its cry was heard, this indicated a soul was passing from the earth in peace.
The Slavs believed the Dove carried the souls of the deceased to heaven.
The universal meaning of a Dove is peace and love.
Aspects of the dove that have been incorporated into Armenian Cultural Centerís design are: Clean, White, Pure, Light, Airy, Soft.
Armenian traditional architecture, patterns, colors and history have been combined with the concept of Dove in order to create interiors that reflect Armenian characteristic features.
The inspiration for the exterior design of the Cultural Center was from old Armenian architecture prevalent in Armenian church design. The stone cladding and window framing are trademarks of Armenian building design. The load bearing architecture provides strength for the structure and symbolizes the strong roots of the Armenian culture.
The entrance welcomes the guests with an open and airy feeling. When the guests walk into the Center they step onto a traditional Armenian rug. The ceilings are high and the sculptural dove lighting fills the space and ties into the concept.
The atrium connects the entrance and the gallery levels encouraging people to go upstairs to enjoy the views as well as the amenities.
Curved line patterns on the floor mimicking a doveís wings directs the guests to the theater and the bookstore while providing a design element.
The warm colors of the seating area are inspired by the hand painted traditional Armenian Easter eggs.
The focal point of the bookstore is the birdcage chandeliers symbolizing repressed culture, banned books and freedom of knowledge. The space is long and narrow with an open and flexible seating arrangement to encourage people to spend more time reading and for hosting book signing events.
The walls are carved with excerpts of Armenian books.The space is vast and houses long and tall bookshelves that store a large variety of books relating to Armenian Culture.
The curved lines throughout the bookstore found on the bookshelves and displays connect with the concept.
The design is inspired by the open wings of a dove. The walls are paneled in layers for acoustical purposes as well as design. They mimic the wings of a dove and are separated by LED lights. Wood and white lacquer are used to create contrast and to emphasize the design on the walls.
The ceiling is covered with soft tufted leather and curves down to create the stage. The stage lights are hidden in the specially designed ceiling as not to distract from the continuous design.
Plush cream leather chairs invite the guest to enjoy entertainment on the stage.
The gallery is designed for showcasing and focusing the visitors attention on art. A focal point is the wavy slats on the ceiling which provide an interesting design element while not competing with the art.
A gift store and a wine store are included in the gallery space. Visitors can appreciate art while sipping wine and walking through the Armenian art.
Janhag, lace in Armenian is a high end restaurant serving traditional Armenian cuisine.
The walls are paneled with cut out lace patterns inspired by famous Armenian needle lace and are illuminated by LED lights from behind. The lights have seven different colors, changing each night to create a striking atmosphere.
The skylight in the restaurant creates an open feeling and allows diners to enjoy their meal while gazing at the stars.
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