This competition tasked participants with envisioning a visitor observation platform to be constructed atop Nemrut, a volcano located in eastern Turkey. Positioned at an altitude of 2,800 metres at the southern edge of the dormant volcano, the intent of this new landmark is to provide unobstructed views overlooking the extraordinary caldera and its internal lakes, as well as the immense Lake Van to the east.
A caldera is a large depression formed when the ground surface collapses into the emptied magma chamber following a volcanic eruption, becoming a crater. With a total area of 4,800 hectares, and a diameter varying from 7 to 8.5 km, the Nemrut caldera is among the largest in the world. A pair of lakes within the crater - Lakes Ilı and Nemrut - support a microclimate with flora and fauna unique to the region, in part because the water bodies are fed by hot springs and never fully freeze during the winter months.
Participants were asked to deliver proposals for a 20 sqm iconic viewing station designed in consideration of this unique natural environment. The competition was not limited to a strict budget, but participants were recommended to conceive designs on the scale of US $100k. Given the site and limited access, submissions with cost-effective, environmentally-responsible and energy-efficient construction methods were viewed favorably. Access from a nearby ski lift station to the site should also have been considered in the design.
A number of factors were discussed by the jury while reviewing the submissions: If a platform were to be constructed, firstly can it offer something which the volcano’s current peak does not - shelter, new perspectives, or accessibility? Can it perform as a landmark that might encourage more visitors to make the journey to the natural marvel of the Nemrut caldera? Can it question given assumptions as to how a viewing station should function? Bee Breeders would like to thank each participant for their part in assembling a rich trove of new design ideas.
1st Prize Winner +
BB STUDENT AWARD
BB STUDENT AWARD
The architecture vision competitions allow the possibility to take the design process to a level where experimentation and speculation become problem solving strategies in a creative and unconventional way. This is the perfect venue for telling a story through architecture.Read full interview
Jury feedback summary
In what was among the most striking proposals, ‘Upservatory’ takes cues from well-known ballooning sites over the vast Cappadocia in central Turkey. This proposal considers the viewing station as a mobile, 20m²-circular platform elevated into the air by a hot air balloon with an asymmetrical form. The platform is accessed from an entry station near to the mountain’s ski lift; once elevated, the balloon-carried deck follows a guide rail cantilevered well over the peak’s edge, permitting visitors unrestricted views of the caldera and the surrounding geography. In a series of simple, captivating drawings, the submission succeeds in describing a completely new experience for observing Mount Nemrut. The jury encourages the designer to further study the structural implications of the roller-coaster-like guide rail. While the images show a project with minimal impact to the landscape, can it really be built so finely and meanwhile achieve such a cantilever? Can it be used year-round? How is it operated and maintained?
2nd Prize Winner
Nemrut Caldera Observation Route
It is a refreshing exercise and an escape from our everyday works. Generally, we get to design things that we do not regularly have a chance to design – sometimes for places and users we do not get to think about. It is a rewarding opportunity to face a challenge and develop new design perspectives as a result.Read full interview
Jury feedback summary
This standout submission takes a winding form reminiscent of a lava flow. In emphasizing this sinuous form the presentation notes it is in keeping with Nemrut’s history as a mountain “constantly sculpted by movements from within and below.” The footbridge leading from the ski station to the viewing station is composed of a modular system of corten rails and perforated stairs set on precast concrete piers - the detail drawings are particularly effective in describing the design and its potential constructability. While the jury was less convinced about the seemingly large structure supporting the observation platform, the project is successful in giving importance to the trekker’s journey.
3rd Prize Winner
A Walk Beyond The Edge
This kind of competition is a good field for matching with other points of view. It can be fascinating to observe how a place can be conceived by other architects and designers. It gives you an opportunity to try different approaches and experiment which is definitely something you don’t see every day.Read full interview
Jury feedback summary
‘A walk beyond the edge’ is a triangulated platform with cantilevered viewing points to the crater and Lake Van. With its sculptural form in steel and wood, the design plays with weight, transparency and opacity: the station is entered via a footbridge, through an opaque ‘tunnel’ that frames views of Nemrut and performs as a counterweight to the cantilevered ramps; the mass then dissolves as the wooden floor gives way to perforated decking and guardrails, allowing views below. The triangular nature of the platform leads visitors to three distinct observation points. The drawings in the submission are compelling in their use of light versus shadow, giving presence to the structure’s ‘joint’ at the tunnel, while dematerializing the element projecting over the crater.
BB GREEN AWARD
Obsidian & Steel
Competition prompts give us the constraints and platform to pursue creative design projects outside of the office. They also motivate us to follow through on these pursuits through a financial investment and fixed schedule.Read full interview
Reverie of the Edge
A door to Nemrut
Flying Over The Landscape
Bialystok university of technology+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Nemrut Volcano Eye
The university of sydney+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
National technical university of athens+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Universidad de puerto rico rio piedras+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Moholy- nagy university of art and design budapest+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
University of puerto rico, rio piedras campus+178 points Buildner University Rankings!
Academie van bouwkunst amsterdam+72 points Buildner University Rankings!
Università iuav di venezia+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Interpretative Route of Nemrut Volcano
Universidade de évora+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Wrocław university of science and technology+22 points Buildner University Rankings!