Piri Reis Maritime University

Category: Education
Location: Istanbul
Project Date: 2008-2011
Client: TÜDEV
Area: 60,000 m²
Team: Aydan Volkan, Selim Cengiç, Onur Arat, Ayşegül Kapısız, Nihat Kalfazade, Ufuk Berberoğlu, Erhan Ilıcalı
Award: Mies Arch Europen Union Prize Candidate - Aga Khan Candidate


Piri Reis Maritime University provides higher maritime education and applied training in Tuzla district of Istanbul, Turkey. The project consists 60.000 sqm covered area in eight interconnected blocks.

The campus is designed with the utmost contemporary sustainability principles that resulted with the BREEAM’s “Excellent” certificate. The project allocates an intense programmatic function in fragmented blocks embedded in a sloped site. The basic aim was to create open- air public spaces among blocks where students and academic staff may interact with each other throughout the day.

An open-air walkway extending on the north-south direction of the site binds the six interconnected blocks over the ground. This spine defines the main circulation path of the overall campus and enables the experience of the continuous sea view within the campus.

The main spine reaching from north to south is fragmented into smaller pieces with niches, terraces and different levels to avoid a monumental and harsh axis. The prevailing wind is tamed by the utilization of the blocks parallel to the sea, so that inner courtyards are protected from severe winds. This layout also helped to benefit from the sunlight efficiently.

The spaces that do not need daylight are placed underground while the raised floors and terraces of those places created the open spaces between the building blocks.

The campus generates 45% of its own electric energy, and excess heat energy from this electricity production is used for heating and cooling of the buildings.

Detached entrances enable the access to these blocks with surrounding bicycle and vehicle roads thanks to the utilization of the topography.

Fresh water is obtained by purifying seawater and grey and rainwater is used for sanitary and landscaping irrigation purposes.

These and many other precautions on sustainability make the Piri Reis Maritime University as the first green campus of Turkey.