Erkal Architects - Çankaya University Sports Center
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Çankaya University Sports Center

Erkal Architects

Sport&Leisure  /  Completed
Erkal Architects
Sports Center building is conceived of as a social hub for the surrounding community, as much as it is a collective magnet within the Çankaya University campus. Çankaya University campus is a newly inaugurated campus, in a rapidly developing area in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, a city with five million residents. Echoing the needs of such recently developed residential areas, the vicinity is in desperate need of social infrastructure. In order to address this, the building program is devised for flexibility aimed at a continuous operation throughout the day. Deviating out of a classically planned school sports facility with a large central hall with tribune seating, the center reflects a more contemporary approach to sports activities: a tennis-priority closed multi sports hall, fitness halls, studio exercises, squash, racquetball, open and closed basketball and soccer courts. A set of studios allowing non-sports physical and semi-physical activities are also included. Supporting facilities include foyers for relaxing, a vitamin bar, saunas and a meeting room.

A multi-faceted approach to the building program required a spatial arrangement that has multiple locations to generate events with varying degrees of independence. Therefore, the building was designed to dispell any calls for centralization. Internal and external spatial variation utilizing the level changes in topography and multiple unexpected views with transparency were the primary design objectives.

As the building situates itself on the topography, three primary levels are created in order to place standardized sports hall volumes. A set of secondary levels are created in between primary levels to further accentuate the planar articulation of free spaces. Articulated residual volumes allow differentiation in character at smaller scales, both internally and externally. Thus first and foremost, the accentuated levels visually convey the adaptation of the building to topographical variation while providing activity volumes.

The building has to face the western sun, as it establishes visual connections and pedestrian access. The western facade is developed in order to modulate the solar radiation and outward views as well as glare with its adverse effects for activities such as basketball. Facade modulation provides an interplay of sun rays and interior surfaces throught the day on one hand, and artificial ligthing and exterior fins after sunset on the other.

The Sports Center has been an active facility as it is next to the dormitories of the campus. The two facilities share a steep slope, both extending on to several platforms within the topography. Outdoor sports courts are scattered on these platforms to vitalize a landscape of sports activities. A running track cycles through these platforms and level changes, connecting many locales along the way, while generating a filmic sequence with snapshots of spatial storytelling for the runner.

Foyer and Public Facilities 220 m²
Main Hall 850 m²
Basketball, Squash and Racketball Courts 425 m²
Fitness Areas 1000 m²
Studios 200 m²
Cafe 120 m²
Administration and Offices 175 m²
Building Technical and Service Spaces 280 m²


 Çankaya University
 4000 mq
 Emre Erkal, Ozan Erkal, Filiz Erkal, Coşkun Erkal (Erkal Architects)
 Şükran Metin, Bekir Aşçıoğlu, Cennet Aşçıoğlu, Demet Yüce, Gülşen Yıldırım Kılıç
 Vezir İnşaat
 Tarkett, KONE, VitrA, Trakya Cam, Philips, Arlight, Schneider, ABB, LeGrand, Siemens, Samsung
 Orhan Kolukısa, Yerçekim


Erkal Architects, based in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey was established by Filiz ve Coşkun Erkal in 1968. Emre Erkal and Ozan Erkal joined the office after the year 2000, extending the scope with new technologies. The projects and buildings produced by the office have won more than 50 awards including 11 first prizes in architecture and urban design competitions.

Erkal Architects has extensive experience in cultural and educational facilities, institutional buildings, masterplans and urban design projects. The office has produced designs in a wide spectrum of topics ranging from residential / housing to touristic and industrial complexes, spanning various sectors.

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