Rönesans Holding’s “Trend Topic: Sustainability” Webinar Drew Great Interest

The 2021 winners of the “Design the Sustainable Future” contest organized by Rönesans Holding since 2015 and aimed at instilling university students with a culture of sustainability have been selected. During the ceremony that took place as part of the “Trend Topic: Sustainability” webinar, awards were granted to projects in 10 different categories. Experts in their fields and social entrepreneurs made eye-opening speeches during the webinar.

Employing 75 thousand people in 28 countries with its investments in the areas of engineering, real estate, health, energy and petrochemistry, Rönesans Holding has organized this year the 7th “Design the Sustainable Future” contest with a vision of ensuring that future generations live in healthier and greener buildings. The 2021 concept of the contest to which future architects, engineers and city planners participated has been determined as “Living Spaces Changing with the Pandemic”. Awards have been bestowed in 10 categories during the event attended by 649 students from more than 60 universities across Turkey.

With the seminars it has thus far organized in universities with a view to disseminating the culture of sustainability, Rönesans Holding has reached more than 100 thousand young people.

A donation of one sapling was made to the TEMA Foundation for each person who participated in the Trend Topic: Sustainability webinar realized during the finals of the contest.

In the webinar, Next Academy Founder and academic Levent Erden and Konda Research General Manager Bekir Ağırdır held inspiring talks that were eye-opening for future architects, engineers and city planners who were in attendance. Emphasizing that Turkish people usually think of the next 10 years when speaking of the future, but that in contrast, the youth considers it to be the next 3 years only, the talk concluded that it is impossible to witness the results of works to be carried out for the environment within the next 10 years. Giving the example of the zero greenhouse gas emission goal by 2050 as part of the European Union Green Deal, it has been specified that plans should already comprehend the next 30-50 years. Furthermore, it has been underlined that sustainability is more than a mere relationship between air, water and earth and that it is a matter of social well-being. Attention has been drawn to the fact that carbon is not just a footprint but that everyone is under the obligation to transition to a carbon-sensitive life.

At the end of the talk, Erden and Ağırdır advised young attendees to not get stuck in what they know is best, but to be open to different options and to cooperate with these.

Koçan: “The youth will tread their own way themselves”

Informing the audience on the Baksı Museum -the monument distinguishing itself with its architecture in harmony with nature and its geography- Prof. Dr. Hüsamettin Koçan presented youth with different perspectives on sustainability with a witty narrative and said “Baksı is a mount of culture where all people will meet. We must all be attentive to people’s differences and uniqueness. If you create something original and persist in doing so, you can be at the center and be successful. Culture is backed by history, geography and its era. We at Baksı have brought together traditions, drew the attention to the data of geography and harmonized with the architecture of the era. Female participation in production is of 12% in the East, and of approximately 50% in the West. We must increase that 12%. That is why we always consider women and children as priorities. Each year in our workshops, we gather children from neighboring provinces and give them scholarships. Baksı has taught us that man is a very deep being. We must provide people with the opportunity to represent themselves. Youth will tread their own path themselves. As for women, they are the ones who remember, who are resilient, who are sustainable and open to innovation. Women are the hope of the future.”

Koçan: “Sustainability is the handshake between a young child and a grandfather”.
Continuing his words and stating that life and sustainability are living beings and energy, Koçan concluded: “We have a story that comes from the past and passes on to the future, that is why we must connect the past with the future. The future is something that is born out of love. If you do have a zest for life, you seek peace, communication, the richness of other people. I believe that life should be looked at with the hope of the future. Sustainability is a production, you cannot sustain something that is not. We will remember and miss the past. As for our future, we need a feeling of commitment, innocence, conscience and a joy for life. In short, sustainability is the handshake between a young child and a grandfather.”

During the panel that took place with the participation of Help Steps founder Gözde Venedik, Tarla.io founder Kerem Erikçi and ZOOP Shared Mini-Mobility founder Kerem Odabaşı, the topic of social entrepreneurship has been discussed. Speakers shared their views on the topics of enterprise sustainability, finding sponsor support and the creation of a sustainable income model.

Valuable members of the jury had difficulty selecting between innovative ideas
The jury assessed the projects based on the criteria of an efficient use of resources, respect of the environment and sustainability, highlighting social entrepreneurship. Members of the jury affirmed having had difficulty choosing between the projects that were the fruit of an innovative, sustainable perspective on the part of students. While it was underlined that hundreds of students had participated in the contest with 350 project teams, it has been declared that 32 projects were selected for the finals and that 10 were granted awards. Those who were granted an award following the assessment of the jury were as follows:

List of Winners:

First Prize
Nisa Nur Alpan, Şeyma Güneş, Zehra Ertürk, Emine Gizem Aslan, Yusuf Biricik
Necmettin Erbakan University
Project Title: SPACIOUSNESS WITHIN CONGESTION
The project constituted of circular forms highlights harmony with the natural environment, the protection of natural resources, sustainable practices and their scale. The use of green materials, building facades and roofs designed in an integrated fashion with the greenery are positive attributes of the project. Moreover, design ideas for the use of open spaces during the pandemic have also contributed to the selection of the project.

Second Prize
Hilal Sof, Ali Mert Mutlugöl, Hamit Bala
Kocaeli University
Project Title: DISTANCE
The project’s merit lies in it highlighting a distanced use of neighborhood fruit market spaces both during the pandemic and for a more sustainable economic approach with products preserving their freshness. The use of leftover plant products after the closure of the market, the use of natural energy resources and the design of social spaces outdoors were positive attributes of the project.

Third Prize
Elif Akbaş, Ece Tamer
Istanbul Technical University
Project Title: VEGETABLE GARDEN ON A HOOK (PRE-PAID)
The project develops a collective approach to putting into re-use greywater obtained from buildings and supports building users in contributing to this common idea. The decontamination of greywater and its putting into re-use in ecological irrigation are positive attributes of the project.

Honorable Mention Award
Büşra Tutal
Karabük University
Project Title: GREEN WATER/BLUE VORONOI
The project shows a structure that is in harmony with the natural environment that surrounds Lake İznik. It creates open and semi-open spaces where people can socialize on the lakeside thanks to the project’s eco-friendly architectural scale. The biological collection of pool water and the strategy of non-harm to the environment are among the positive attributes of the project.

RGY Award
Atakan Uzun, İrem Tezcan, Adem Güngör, Murat Can Yar
Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal University
Project Title: PALIMPSEST
Positive attributes of the project were the selection of Haydarpaşa Turkish Grain Office silos as project space, their preservation and transformation, the idea of using waste containers to pursue the current pattern identity. Furthermore, the transformation of the modular living block and of the current structure, and silos showing similarities with a vertical structure construct have all been found to show a harmony within the silhouette. The plan construct of living modules has provided the flexibility to detach each module from one another and to turn each of them into an isolation house, thus strengthening the relationship with the pandemic. As for the interior construct of silos, it provides spatial diversity and flexibility. Presentation boards and the explanatory report do clearly reflect the project’s concept.

Urban Development and Recycling Award
Gülin Yazıcıoğlu, Damlanur İlipınar
Middle East Technical University
Project Title: THE CITY IS OURS, THE STADIUM IS OURS
The project features a sustainable design where the transformation of an old structure of the city and its revival provide a space where the establishment can benefit economically and where people can benefit socially by gathering together. While the structure regains its functionality, strategies generated for the use of natural resources have been found to be positive attributes.

Innovative Idea and Detail Solution Award
Furkan Kaplan, Muhammed Kır, Musab Oğuz, Mahmuthan Öksüz
Karabük University
Project Title: FREED SHACKLES
The project has been constructed on a concept of transformable mobile spaces positioned on railroad tracks for pre- and post-pandemic use. The relationship with the exterior of units that include individual and distanced space solutions for the pandemic has been well conceptualized. The common use of these separate units after the pandemic and their transformation into socialization spaces have been considered as an innovative approach.

Best Practice Award
Eda Nur Subaşı, Zeynep Gül Yanık, Tuğçe Gül Yanar, Ömer Kuşari
Bursa Uludağ University
Project Title: LIMITLESS LIVING
The project offers modular building and field uses that are away from chaos, simple and that go with the principle of “less is more”, thus contributing to the project’s aspect of best practice. The social distance that needs to be maintained between people during the pandemic has been substantially implemented and has also been taken into account in kids’ playgrounds. Production of energy through renewable energy resources is another contribution to the project.

Visual Design Award
Emre Duran, Halit Akın, Özge Yılmaz, Yusuf Babaer, Rabiye Doğan
Necmettin Erbakan University
Project Title: FROM TRADITION TO FUTURE
The formal characteristics of the project designed on the Lake İznik coast and its location that fits the planned purpose constitute a richness of visual perception both on the planning plane and on the perspectives. The construct structure of spaces and their scale are among the positive attributes of the project.

Social Sustainability Award
Burcu Ördek, Hacer Et
Gaziantep University
Project Title: ALEGRIA
The project is built on a construct where women can sustain their existence as individuals in social life and where they can improve themselves economically and educationally. In this respect, when female solidarity and union is taken into account, the project’s social sustainability aspect is more predominant. The project’s courtyard-type modelling suitable for the city of Antep’s hot and dry climate, its permeable characteristics in open, semi-open spaces are also among its positive attributes.


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