Esma Sultan School & Community Center // Esma Sultan Okulu
Located in oneof Besiktas’ timeless neighborhood fabrics, the ‘mahalle’ community life is alive and lively. The mayor’s vision to create a ‘heart’ to the communitypublic life with the reconstruction of the elementary school called for ablurring of boundaries of school, recreation, theater and library. Thearchitectural design connects the upper and lower street life with a central cascading public street that flows through the center of the site. Either side of the street is defined by the civic program of the performing arts theater, the library and the formal entry to the elementary and kindergarten. Architectural massing invites the public into the center of the spine and gives the theater, elementary school and kindergarten unique identities. More subtly sculpted in the landscape of the public street is the library and recreation center. Common materials of the civic historic and contemporary construction of brick, granite and marble are used for the community ‘zones’, while materials of the recent contemporary city of aluminum and façade ceramic are used for the elementary and kindergarten. The result is a place for the community to congregate that is familiar, a place inviting for all ages, and a place that is about a shared future as a community.