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Published in 2A Magazine Issue #15&16 Autumn 2010 Winter  2011

Semra Teber Yener

Semra Teber Yener graduated from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She received the Diplôme d’Architecture (D.P.L.G.) from the Ecole d’Architecture Paris – Villemin and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in urban economics from the Université de Paris-I/ Panthéon-Sorbonne (1984), and completed her postdoctoral study at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1991, she won first prize in Ankara’s City Gate Project Competition. She established Tektonika Architecture in Turkey, specializing in architecture and urban design. Her completed projects in urban design and architecture include a 7000 housing units in Ankara, Central Business District of Ankara, urban design projects for METU Technopolis and Hacettepe-Technopolis, and architectural projects for their first office/R&D buildings.

She was awarded the “New Approaches in Architecture” Prize in 2000, she has been nominated for National Architecture Award in 2008 and METU University Dormitory Blocks in Northern Cyprus have been selected for Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2009 – European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.


The ultimate “architectural work” is the “final three-dimensional product” that creates and contributes to our “built environment”, “stage” of our lives.

Architect is responsible to find out and/or create the link between the “project site” and “people’s requirements and needs”. He/she expresses this link in a three-dimensional platform, using all technical knowledge and tools available at that time. Buildings are confrontation of “projects” by “reality”. Architects are modern time sorcerers transforming “ideas and senses” into “every day objects” in which/ near which/ with which/ by which we live.

Creation of “built environment”, fields of architecture and urban design are traditionally “non-feminine” occupations. Still, “the gender of a project” remain to be questioned and investigated. Does gender of architect play a role in it and how “feminine sensitivity”, “feminine approach” matter in transforming environment?



The Dormitory District of METU Northern Cyprus Campus is situated on the southern hillside of the campus area. The “students village” will accomodate 6000 students when completed.

The site is divided into two by a longitudinal axis which is parallel to contours : multistorey dormitory blocks are situated on Upper Part which is also closer to the campus’ main facilities. Lower Part looks like rather a” mediterranean village” with its small housing units and gardens. Shady pedestrian paths on northern side of buildings function as “corridors” in dorm blocks. Their gentle slope is convenient for biking and walking.

Dormitory rooms are designed as independent “living units” for 3 students; each has a living room, an open kitchen, a bathroom and 3 separate “individual cells”. The Living Room has large sliding windows, that tranforms interıor space into a “covered balcony”. Thick stone walls on façades protect them from direct sun rays and semi-courts behind walls provide shadow.

Natural materials such as wood and stone are used to emphasize the “home character and warmth” of dormitory blocks. Wood and stone have been used “outside” (façades) as well as “inside” (rooms) the building. The spatial layout of blocks favorises flow between indoor and outdoor. “Flexibility”, “adaptability” and “evolutive character” constitute main design criteria at every scale of design work.







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