Situated at the perimeter of the expanse of Hacettepe University's Beytepe Campus in Ankara, Museum and Center for Biodiversity building houses scientific research facilities and exhibition spaces devoted to scientific materials on the topic of biodiversity. Beytepe Campus is on the main development axis in Ankara, the westward highway to Eskişehir, which creates severe pressure of urbanization and land fragmentation. The campus sits on a system of interconnected valleys and ridges that also extend to neighboring campus lands, with several particular valleys which still have a distinct ecosystem. Several long term projects are under consideration, aimed at preserving this natural resource within the shifting center of a rapidly developing city of five million people. Museum and Center for Biodiversity is one of the most concrete attempts within this scope; it will be a contribution for landscape preservation as well as a social stimulus for the scientific community.
The building sits on a slope facing east, itself being grafted within a forestation programme. The immediate vicinity has connections with a system of plots slated for preservation, which include the future National Botanical Gardens. The entry platform provides commanding views of these gardens and the city to the east. As the building yields to topography with a series of platforms with cascading levels, it attempts at introducing greenery within hard surfaces and volumes.
Separate entrances are provided for research and museum spaces, facing each other across the ground plaza, even though these functions are intertwined throughout the building. The research facilities include collections, laboratories, offices for scientists, administration, library and a meeting hall. The museum is composed of exhibition halls for Zoology, Medical Sciences and Anthropology on upper and ground floors. The lower floor will house the Botanical exhibit, as these spaces are connected with the gardens in the topography, in which a set of greenhouses are planned for future development.
The architectonic logic of open and closed spaces follows an order of geometric compartmentation which is manifest in numerous biological phenomena. The exhibition material falling under the topic of biodiversity belong to a very wide spectrum of scientific disciplines and have a broad variation of sizes, dimensions and scales. Therefore the spaces are desired to be fragmented so that they could be thematized separately, yet continuous and connected for coherence.
A significant body of the exhibited materials are planned to originate from the holdings of scientific institutions and leaders of the scientific community. Therefore an active participation on behalf of the scientific community on biodiversity is expected, upon the inception of the museum. The Museum and Center for Biodiversity building is poised to go beyond its program that serves science and academia, and accept the challenges of landscape preservation and cultivating scientific communities.
Foyer and Public Facilities 850 m²
Museum Exhibition Spaces 2000 m²
Museum Services 600 m²
Collections and Laboratories 1500 m²
Herbarium 190 m²
Library 120 m²
Meeting Hall 180 m²
Administration and Offices 200 m²
Building Technical and Service Spaces 600 m²
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.