‘’Play is the highest form of research.’’
-Albert Einstein

The main idea of the project was to treat the “game”, the most delightful way of discovering the world, as a long and endless experience for every child. The area called PARKOUR is designed as a permanent space that contains the means of investigation, entertainment and learning. Here the beginning and the end mix each other, all experiences meet children in a circular narrative. It is a world of discovery with a start and an end, but also an adventure that presents surprises at every turn of the corner. Parkour moves between the ground floor and first floor levels in the third dimension and organizes activities on cognitive experience, psychomotor development and social development areas and their sub-spaces in a continuum.

Project Name: Bornova Children’s Exploratorium
Studio Name:
FREA

Design Team:
Emre SAVURAL (Project Leader)
Seden Cinasal AVCI
Ramazan AVCI
Fatih YAVUZ
Ibrahim YAVUZ
Yucel Huseyin SALA
Baran EKINCI
Ozlem KURTCU
Zeynep DEMIRHAN
Su SARIHAN

Area: 7290 m2
Year: 2016
Location: İzmir, Turkey

Consultants:
Zafer KINACI
Kemal OVACIK
Bahri TURKMEN
Mehmet CIKRIK
Neslihan AVCI

Bornova Children’s Exploratorium by FREA - Sheet2
©FREA

The third movement of the parkour provides children with spatial experiences, while at the same time creates defined areas outside with open and closed spaces under elevated masses. For example, the administrative units in the entrance area are located underneath the parkour that rises to +4.00 level above. The structural system repeats at regular intervals in the third dimension while determining the exterior volumes and the boundaries.

Parkour also intersects with the other places along its route, allowing alternative stops for children when they got bored by games and activities. The cafeteria and the multipurpose hall combine at the stage level and this allows the spaces to be used separately and together. At this point, outdoor activities are encouraged for children, while at the same time access to the entrance area by leaving the Parkour is enabled.

Bornova Children’s Exploratorium by FREA - Sheet13
©FREA

Although the activities on the Parkour were designed considering the physical characteristics of age groups, it was intended to mix all age groups together in it. According to Vygotsky s “zone of proximal development” theory, the intersection of children from all age groups contributes to the learning process. Participation of the disabled individuals in the Parkour is provided through the circulation shafts. The parkour’s spatial arrangement also allows parents to accompany their children when necessary.

Bornova Children’s Exploratorium by FREA - Sheet15
©FREA

The adventure route starts in such a way that it will enclose the exhibition area on the ground level while allowing for a controlled access. The children will climb together with the workshops and reach a level of +4.00 on a sloping surface that encourages sliding. The experience starting with physical activities continues at the level of +4.00 with learning and experience venues. Continuing to establish connections between the ground and the first floor, they continue to be involved in different experiences. Physical activity in cognitive experience, psychomotor development and social development areas are completed in the slide and ball pool at the end of the Parkour. If desired, the activity cycle can be restarted and the games can be repeated.

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©FREA

A public space was created between the school plot in the south of the estate and the building, extending on the east-west axis. With this space, further activity areas for children are created to encourage them to spend more time outside. The main entrance of Bornova Childrens Exploratoriım building also opens into this area and it is aimed to integrate the building with the rich outdoor activities. An interface is created along the southern boundary of the site with a structure that organizes the physical activity areas. Since the building is elevated from on the western side of the site, the parks continue at the ground level uninterruptedly. Transparent surfaces are proposed on the adventure path floor to provide continuity through visual permeability.


FREA Studio:

FREA, Founded in Ankara in 2013, FREA is an architecture and design practice aiming for searching and discovering fresh ideas. FREA is a new layer added to the architectural practices of co-founders Fatih Yavuz and Emre Savural, who had been previously running onbir41 architecture studio for ten years.

As a young and innovative architecture and urban design studio, FREA aspires to find fresh ideas and creative solutions to problems and believes in the power of collective production. The team respects and frequently participate in architectural design competitions as an intellectual platform to remain Fresh. They have won several awards, including five 1st prizes. The METU Northern Cyprus Campus Engineering Lab project was nominated for the Building Award at the 10th National Architecture Awards. In 2014 the team was among the finalists
at Architecture+Design Turkey Young Architects Award with the same project and recently it won the grand prize at the Turgut Cansever National Architecture Awards 2017.

Completing several projects on different scales, FREA embraces
an architectural approach that ascribes importance to user satisfaction, and to the design’s relation with its surrounding environment. FREA believes that quality comes before quantity. Embracing the problem and working through it is as important as merely finding a solution; and for that, the team focuses on the quality of the process as much as their final product.

Studio Directors:

FATİH YAVUZ

He was born in 1981 in İzmir, Turkey. In 2003, he graduated from METU Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture. He completed his graduate studies in the same department by the dissertation of the thesis titled “The Architecture of New Territories: The Dutch Embassy in Berlin” in 2006.

He received the “1st Honorable Mention” award in Archiprix-TR 2003 with his graduation project “Maçka Hotel”. Between 2011 and 2016 he attended the architectural design studio at METU Faculty of Architecture, and TOBB Economy and Technology University as part time instructor. He still practices as a jury member in the studios at the architectural departments of several universities. In addition to his professional practice, he worked on various projects regarding the architectural profession under the umbrella of TSMD and Architects Association 1927 which he is currently a member.

He took part in national and international architectural competitions as both jury member and participant. He received various awards, 6 of which is 1st prize, from the architectural competition he participated in. In 2017, Yavuz was awarded the Grand Prix in Turgut Cansever National Architecture Awards Project Category with the Anamur Atatepe Social Center project. 4 of his projects were ranked as finalists in the XI and XVI National Architecture Awards under Building, and Project categories.

After being a finalist in 2014 TSMD Young Architect Award program, he was honored with Arkitera Young Architect Award in 2019. In the same year, Yavuz won the ‘Europe 40 under 40’ award given by the European Center and The Chicago Athenaeum Museum. After co-founding and working at onbir41 between 2003 and 2013, he now continues his practice at FREA with his partner Emre Şavural

EMRE ŞAVURAL

He was born in 1980 in İzmir, Turkey. He completed his secondary education in İzmir Atatürk Highschool in 1998. In 2003 he graduated from the Department of Architecture of METU.

Between the year 2002-2004, Şavural took parts in various competitions and architectural projects in Atabaş Architects, Uygur Architects, and Artı Tasarım. He was a member of the organization team of the 7th National Meeting of Architecture Students “Buluşma7” organized at METU in February 2003.

From 2014 to 2016, Şavural worked as a half-time instructor at the architectural design studio at TOBB University of Economics and Technology. He still practices as a jury member in the studios at the architectural departments of several universities. In addition to his professional practice, he worked on various projects regarding the architectural profession under the umbrella of TSMD and Architects Association 1927 which he is currently a member.

He took part in national and international architectural competitions as both jury member and participant. In addition, he was a jury member in Archiprix-TR 2018. He received various awards, 6 of which is 1st prize, from the architectural competition he participated in. In 2017, Şavural was awarded the Grand Prix in Turgut Cansever National Architecture Awards Project Category with the Anamur Atatepe Social Center project. 4 of his projects were ranked as finalists in the XI and XVI National Architecture Awards under Building, and Project categories.

After being a finalist in the 2014 TSMD Young Architect Award program, he was honored with Arkitera Young Architect Award in 2019. After co-founding and working at onbir41 between 2003 and 2013, he now continues his practice at FREA with his partner Fatih Yavuz.

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