Santralistanbul Campus, Bilgi University: A transformation of an industrial site to a liveable campus

This paper focuses on the concepts of adaptive-reuse and campus urban space. Through a case study, it explores universities’ role in the transformation of urban areas (macro-scale) and investigates the university campus as a context for spatial and social relations (micro-scale). It analyzes the Santralistanbul Campus of Bilgi University, located in the historic Peninsula in Istanbul, Turkey, as a successful example of a converted run-down industrial site to a vibrant university campus. In one hand, it studies the campus urban location, spatial organization, and design principles. On the other hand, it explores the physical features of campus which are influential in space-use patterns. The study methodology is twofold. Firstly, the historical background, existing documents, university website, and annual reports have been examined. Then, spatial analysis has followed by acquiring information from campus designers, analyzing masterplans, and Google Earth maps and OpenStreetMaps. Secondly, considering the literature, the main parameters of a good campus space have been studied. Doing so, a qualitative approach - in-situ observation, informal interviews, and questionnaire survey - have been conducted. This study highlights that there is a relationship between campus design principles and space-use patterns. It emphasizes that application of the adaptive re-use strategy by educational institutions can contribute to acquiring available urban campus land, integrating the academic body into society, transforming the deteriorated areas, preserving an industrial heritages, and serving the university mission which ultimately generates vitality and socio-spatial sustainability. The converted Santralistanbul campus can be used as a good example in designing other campus conversion projects.


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