The Transformation of the Sümerbank Kayseri Textile Factory to Abdullah Gül University Sümer Campus
Burak Asiliskender,Nilüfer Yöney / AGÜ
The Sümerbank Kayseri Textile Factory, designed and constructed in 1932-1935 was one of the largest industrial investments of the young Turkish republic. It soon became a node of technological, social and cultural modernization in the city, providing work as well as culture and recreation based on a new way of life in contrast with the existing traditional society. The rationalist and functionalist architecture as well as the single-family housing constructed in and around the factory became a new hub and soon created new neighbourhoods, pulling the urban developing toward them.
The complex, closed to production and abandoned in 1999, is today being transformed into a new urban hub as the Sümer Campus of Abdullah Gül University founded in 2012. Based on the master plan dated 2014, the open campus concept welcomes the citizens of Kayseri to a place that is physically the same but presents new activities centered on education and culture. The listed buildings in the complex are being restored to house new functions, and are being turned into educational and administrative buildings, laboratories, museums, cultural centers, and social gathering spaces such as club rooms, visitors center, cafes and restaurants. Meanwhile the architectural characteristics of the site and its buildings, its relationship with the urban sprawl of Kayseri and its importance as a memory place in the city are being preserved. The main principle behind the master plan and the restoration projects is to preserve the integrity of the campus and its buildings while transforming them with new additions without degrading the original characteristics but rather adding new value to them. It aims to describe the importance of the original complex for Kayseri and its transformation as a new urban hub of interest.