The old primary school building in Old Orhanli Village of Seferihisar sub-province of Izmir was restored for the reuse of the building as the Nature School Research building. The building with an indoor space of about 300 m2 exhibits two phases of construction. Building was originally constructed using stone masonry in 1920s. In 1960s a brick masonry addition was constructed adjacent to the south wall. This new building added a classroom and cafeteria to the school. During this construction phase ceilings and floors were replaced with reinforced concrete slabs and reinforced planks were added supporting the masonry walls. In 1980’s, however, as the village was evacuated the school building was abandoned.
According to our restoration project, Seferihisar School of Nature Research building has a workshop space, one classroom, office space and a commons area (for leisure and creative discussion) on the first (man entry) floor. On the lower level, there are office space, storage unit, kitchen and restrooms. On the outside to the north of the building an amphitheatre with a capacity of 150 is constructed for outdoor activities. Entrance of the building is relocated to its original place. Lighter wooden structure is chosen instead of heavier concrete in the construction of the gable roof. The roof structure space above the workshop area and the office is supported by wooden trusses. In order to enhance spatial integrity the roof structure above the contiguous entrance, entrance hall and the library is supported by diagonal braces. The load bearing masonry walls are reinforced.
Most fundamental and common material used in construction, Portland cement, is a heavy polluter. Around 7-10 percent of all carbon monoxide emissions are due to Portland cement production '>http://greenpeace.org'>
Both because it is the traditional building material of the region and in order to limit cement consumption earth plaster was our choice material. Preparation of earth plaster was researched through written and oral accounts, experiments were conducted and various mixtures were developed for different purposes. Useable wooden material of the old roof was recycled for furniture construction and the telephone pole is covered with earth plaster and reused in the construction of pergola. Wooden planks used in the construction were utilized in furniture and railing construction. Stone and bricks recovered from the rubble of a demolished building in Sığacık were used in the construction of the walls and windowsills. This approach allowed us to avoid low quality and environmentally dubious materials available at construction markets. Instead, for each architectural unit, we focused on using and utilizing recycled or recycle ready materials with an emphasis on renewable nature of these materials. In a way, the nature school research building has started research activities at its construction site.