In January 2020, the earthquake disaster that occurred in Elazığ, Turkey caused significant loss of life and property. In this context, Emre Arolat voluntarily led an Advanced Design Studio with Assoc. Prof. Ece Ceylan Baba at Yeditepe University with the aim of developing a project that contributes to the economic growth of the region and to the revitalization of social life after the calamity. Allocated by the Municipality of Elazığ, it is located on a land of sixty hectares which faces the Elazığ Malatya route.
On 18th of February 2021, Elazığ-Prospect project was launched by Emre Arolat’s presentation and with the participation of Honorary President of Yeditepe University Bedrettin Dalan, Governor of Elazığ Erkaya Yırık, Mayor of Elazığ Şahin Şerifoğulları and President of Elazığ Chamber of Trade and Industry Asilhan Arslan.
Emre Arolat drew attention to the fact that qualified architecture is not frequently claimed by government executives in Turkey and this social responsibility project would be a pioneer collaboration of local and central authority, professional practice and academia to reverse the situation. In his presentation, Arolat remarked that the main objective of Elazığ Prospect is to propose a sustainable life story/style.
Elazığ-Prospect is expected to set an example of a qualified settlement with its ability to fulfill the primary needs of the locals and its self-contained, resilient nature. By using the generosity of the public realm as the generator of the concept, the studio proposed a meticulously designed commercial and recreational axis and a wetland park together with 500 residential units. The two-and-a-half-kilometer long mercantile axis is made up of a modular steel grid that contains convertible units. In case of emergencies, these are expected to be converted into different functional units according to the needs.
During the presentation, Emre Arolat stated that the dialectic between terms such as qualified density and airiness, accessibility and intimacy, cross-programming and legibility, systemness and diversity shaped the intellectual framework of the project. Within this context, one of the most important features of this project is its sensitivity to the surrounding nature. In order to reduce the destructive impacts of exponentially increasing agricultural lands on the wild nature, vertical farming modules are integrated into the residential units, heat-island preventative green-roofs are proposed, and the dry riverbed is located at the center of the project site is transformed into a wetland park.
With its holistic and collective design approach, the project will change the image of Elazığ, turn into a kind of socio-cultural generator for the people of the region and become one of the most important destinations of the region.
The income generated from Elazığ-Prospect development will be used by the local authority to rehabilitate buildings and districts damaged by the earthquake.