Sumerbank Textile Factory, built in 1933 by a group of Russian architects led by Ivan Nikolaev in Kayseri, has been one of the most important symbols of industrialisation and modernisation move in Republican period in Turkey. After its shut-down in 1999, the industrial complex, consisting of the buildings which are unique examples of Russian Constructivism, has been left abandoned inside the city until its consignation to Abdullah Gül University to be transformed into a new campus with educational and administrative facilities.
The main motivation of the masterplan is to open this complex (once acted as a main generator for the city in both economic and social ways, thus having a huge impact in urban memory) to public and locate AGU as an innovation center for industry, culture and activity center for the social life and intellectual center for academic activity in Kayseri, which can still be counted as a ‘provincial city’ in many aspects. By avoiding being a gated complex in the centre of the city, it should welcome people and provide the spaces that the city has been lacking for long time.
Transformation of the existing buildings is driven by the approach which is aiming not to alienate them by regarding them untouchable nor to over-intervene and damage the existing character. Thus, the buildings are functionalised as they can sustain their existing qualities and enhanced with additions or removals (like the small warehouse which is transformed by removing its roof, adding a new structure that carries a canopy and new spaces; or the orangerie, acting as an interface between the city and university along the border, also acting as an urban farm to sustain the local herbs.)
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