'Bird's Nest': A Space for Community / Onat Öktem, Ziya Imren & Zeynep Öktem

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

An additional music room or a performance hall for schools, a pleasant social space for residential apartments or a self-sufficient housing for the homeless. The “Bird’s Nest”, designed by Onat Öktem, Ziya Imren and Zeynep Öktem, can adopt itself both in content and in size to where it “perches”. By placing two-meter long units side by side, the “Bird Nest” can be elongated to the desired dimensions. Their concept was selected as Special Mention: Director’s Choice for the 2011 d3 Natural Systems international architectural design competition. More images and project description after the break.

Music rooms have always been a problem for schools. Sometimes it’s never built due to scarcity of space, and most often an ordinary room with acoustical problems is used for music classes which makes musical education unpleasant for the students, and reduces the education quality in other classes. This proposal, to be installed on the roof of schools will let students freely enjoy music without the hesitation of disturbing others. In warmer climates, the outer terrace can be integrated with the “Bird Nest”, allowing various social activities. Furthermore this additional space for the school can also be used for alternative functions like a library, meeting room or art workshops.

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

The “Bird Nest” can be similarly used for residential units. It can be a social interaction space for the residents, a playground for the children or a pleasant and relaxing space for those who want to try gardening. As a civil society initiative, the “Bird Nest” may contribute to the transformation of the built environment. The Nest is designed as much self-sufficient and sustainable as possible, in terms of electricity and water. Hence it can be used as a shelter for those in need of a home, without an extra cost for the residents.

Courtesy of Onat Öktem


Courtesy of Onat Öktem

The “Bird Nest” aims the maximal integration of sustainable elements to the original building without interfering with it. The recycling of natural sources through design, and keeping green in mind in every step of the design process will provide an important contribution to the concept of sustainability.

The proposed roof structure has been designed as a self-sufficient structure without consuming the sources of the building it has been articulated. Main design considers the sustainable components such as the recycling of the rainwater, passive cooling, green garden, heat transfer, solar energy. This structure has been designed less energy consuming in its setup and demount stages by its light roof construction.

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

Roof Garden

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

Located in the common section of the two structures; the existing building and the “Bird’s Nest”, the roof garden, is considered to be a common green texture for both. The structure also contributes to the solution of one of the biggest problems in cities, which is the lack of soil areas to absorb and keep the rainwater. The roof garden is a get-away place for people who live in concrete cities and increasingly moving away from the nature.


Courtesy of Onat Öktem

Thanks to the slope of the roof, the rain water collected naturally, meets the water demand for the roof garden. Some of the collected rainwater is purified and than used for the clean water need and cooling purposes. The system which is mostly self-sufficient for other functions is able to meet most of the water demand for the accommodation purpose.

Natural Ventilation

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

Openings positioned on opposite walls, at different levels enable the circulation of fresh air through the building. The garden space located at the south façade act like a heat barrier. Hence the sudden temperature changes in the interior space are prevented, decreasing the excessive need for ventilation energy.

Climate Control and Heat Transfer

Courtesy of Onat Öktem

The double-layered roof structure enables the transfer of warm air accumulated in the south façade to the north façade in winter and vice versa in summer. This climate control system reduces the energy required for cooling and heating the space.

Solar Energy

The energy generated by solar panels, located on the roof coating not only meets some of the electricity need but also used as heating energy. The energy produced by solar panels is also aimed to meet the energy required to purify the rain water. The design of the roof enables the solar panels to be located at the best spot to collect solar energy. Therefore there will be no orientation problem no matter where the “Bird Nest” is articulated on the original building.

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "'Bird's Nest': A Space for Community / Onat Öktem, Ziya Imren & Zeynep Öktem" 09 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/174354/birds-nest-a-space-for-community-onat-oktem-ziya-imren-zeynep-oktem> ISSN 0719-8884

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