R2D2 goes to college
Nov 3, 2015

For the Abdullah Gül Üniversitesi’s (AGÜ) new Sümer Campus, the City of Kayseri located in Turkey’s Cappadocia region chose a very special place indeed: It has arisen on the very spot in which the Sümerbank in the 1930s opened its first textile factory, which down the road was to become the proud emblem of Turkey’s industrial prowess. Today the machines have stopped and students of Architecture and Business Management, of Engineering and the Natural Sciences are filling the grounds with new life. The team at Istanbul-based EAA Emre Arolat Architecture refurbished the old textile factory building and transformed it into a “Research, Innovation and Design Center”, which today takes pride of place as the new heart of the campus. Further department buildings, congress centers, communal facilities and student dormitories round out the ensemble.

Comfortably located across 23,400 square meters of gross floor area, the “Research, Innovation and Design Center” has plenty of space for seminar rooms, lecture theaters and offices – and a library. The building’s industrial charm contrast with the furniture and fit-out for the various rooms: In developing this coherent concept the architectural team liaised with furniture manufacture Nurus. In the foyer, several low “4U” sofas have been combined with the undulating seating sculpture “Onda” to structure the extensive space into comfy zones with a lounge feel. Small, versatile stools from the “R2” series make the hearts of devoted Star Wars fans beat faster – their design takes its cue from the movie’s willful robot character “R2D2”. “We have prepared a plan with a model in which the one who teaches is equal to the one who listens, and students have louder voices”, says Burak Asiliskender, Chief Architect with EAA, explaining the interior design concept.

It also provided the framework for selecting the workstations for the smaller seminar rooms. “U Too” and “Pila” are modular workstations complete with connections for laptops and overhead projectors and can be combined into larger ensembles for teamwork as required. In the library delicate shelving systems made of metal bring an airy touch to bear the heavy-duty steel girders. Indeed, it is in particular the furniture’s playful lightness that not only caters to a modern university’s requirements but makes the university center an ideal place for students to relax, hang out and mingle.

Sümerbank’s former headquarters today serve as the centerpiece of the AGÜ Sümer Campus. Designed by Russian architect Ivan Nikolaev in the 1930s, in its day the erstwhile textile factory was hailed as a symbol of industrialization in Turkey. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Today the university is one of the country’s most sought-after higher education institutions – with a modern interior design to match its great prestige. Take the Nurus waiting room furniture in the “Research, Innovation and Design Center” for example: Comfy and utterly elegant, they add a welcome splash of color to the surroundings. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Learning with R2D2: The seats „R2“ in the entry hall bring up lightness and are available in different colors, with a diameter of 40 or 47,5 centimeters. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Take a seat on the X chromosome: “4U”, the leather upholstered benches featuring organically shaped arm- and backrests brighten up students’ free periods between seminars. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Studying in comfort: Thanks to adjustable seat depth, armrests and seat tilt up to 25 degrees, the office swivel chairs from the “Breeze” line guarantee relaxation at the desk. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Shining example: In the large conference room students take their seats on “Eon” chairs, each with a small tablet rest. The flat seat in bright red that seamlessly extends into the backrest is a real eye-catcher. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Industrial charm with a twist: The large auditorium in the “Research, Innovation and Design Center”. Photo © Gürkan Akay

The elegant lounge chairs ”Hi&Lo” create a warm atmosphere into the offices for the manager. Photo © Gürkan Akay

Nurus | R2D2 geht studieren