Isover 2016
Multi Comfort House Competition

Astana, Khasakhstan
General Square
--- sq. m.
Saint Gobain & Isover
2015 (Competition)
Design Team
Burak İlhan
Kutay Biberoğlu
Mirbek Bekboliev
National Second Prize
International Special Prize

The project task makes it inevitable to implement an extreme design strategy that would not only cope with Astana's extreme climate, but at the same time reinterpret a temporal expo function into a sustainable, long term community as well as to conform to the changing parameters of a recently formed context.

Experiences from past expo sites have been investigated. Our research focused on how they have failed to fulfill their planned functions after their lifespan, as an expo, are accomplished. Primarily, in order to identify the future user profile of the housing project, the context in which the expo is situated has been analyzed. Being in close proximity (500 meters) to the project site, Nazarbayev University campus has been embraced as a significant social parameter that will define our project. Thus, it has been acknowledged that one of the target audiences for the post-expo residential project is university students. Affordable accommodation and compact facilities are among those solutions.

Astana has an extreme continental climate with warm summers and very cold winters. Therefore, one of the main targets of the design was to achieve the Passivhaus Standard in such a rough context. Based on various analyses and simulations, which went hand in hand with every design decision, a mass organization that keeps the public spaces in optimum environmental conditions. In order to protect residents from the harsh winter winds, while in summertime cool them passive methods were on the first list. Thus, the team members were able to determine a site arrangement and building layout that took advantage of solar radiation and protected the site from cold winter winds.

The master plan of the expo center provides significant references to the project site. The covered street situated on the north of the site shows great potential to maintain the relation between the residential communities with the focal point of the post-expo facilities.

As a result, the residential project in Astana has been shaped inherently by many local factors, such as pedestrian and bicycle routes, contextual references provided by the expo center, wind, sunlight and seasonal temperatures.

  • The project site has been analyzed in terms of prevailing wind direction and pedestrian/bicycle routes.
  • Masses placed in north and south separates the site into three zones. This separation creates spaces with different characteristics; south, north, and the "Social Street" in between them.
  • The façade facing north is made up of fragmented masses, in order to achieve passage of habitants and visitors from the proposed "Social Street" to the existing "Covered Street".
  • Prevailing winds during summers and winters are analyzed, while building masses are placed on the site. The idea is to let the wind into the "Social Street" during summers, and to block it during winters.