The [Turkish] General Directorate of Forestry’s Forestry Training Centre is located in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. Intended as educational complex that focuses on socialization, its design offers a fragmented yet clear and simple silhouette. The site is 10,487 m² and features forestry training areas, laboratories, a guesthouse, commons area, and a pentathlon field. The project was  expected to serve the nearby city’s forestry-related training, research, and social needs.

The project was built largely out of steel and timber that originated from Turkey. All of the building materials were fabricated into modular structural components and then regulated within 5 m grid systems (for all blocks). The training campus makes extensive use of timber in order to highlight wood products – namely timber columns, compact timber façade panels, timber shutter systems, timber lining (in the interior), timber acoustic barriers, and timber landscape elements.

The project’s overall design strategy emphasises creating multiple access points to the training centre from different levels by turning the site’s challenging topography into an advantage. The site plan and relationship between each building are both marked by four main sections – the laboratory, conference hall, commons area, and guesthouse – that have been positioned (arranged) in such a way that they collectively form a multi-layered and permeable mass composition.

The entrance building connects the lower and upper floors, and contains administrative units, meeting rooms, offices, classrooms, a conference hall, a foyer, and a museum-exhibition area. The conference hall and administrative-education block are located on either side of the main courtyard, and have been transformed into a semi-open reception area with a roof covering both blocks. Both are connected to the lower level via amphitheatre-like steps and cultivated by the commons area on the lower level and floor. The block where the conference hall, foyer, and museum are located contains two entrances from each floor: an upper main entrance and a basement floor foyer. At the same time, the foyer opens to the inner courtyard, and is positioned parallel to the commons area to create an authentic counterpoint in the spacious courtyard. The museum will mainly exhibit military ammunition and remains from this region after the Karabakh-Armenia conflict. The administrative block lies to the right of the courtyard, and houses administrative offices as well as classrooms that open out to the lower level courtyard and commons area

The ground floor’s functional scheme consists of open office spaces and a restaurant in the multi-purpose commons area; that then joins up to another set of stairs via the central pond. The lower level features a kitchen, warehouse, technical room, and sheltered service courtyard. Open, semi-open and closed links between buildings and alternative social spaces  have been designed, each according to their intended function. The laboratory wing sits on both levels; labs there within serve different functions. Seed laboratories are located on the ground floor, while laboratories specializing in predators and insects are located on the basement floor. This offers scientists/researchers ample space to do their work in seclusion.

The guesthouse is located to the left of the main entrance building. It is divided into two branches; with the reception area being on the courtyard floor. From the entrance hall, sets of stairs and elevators leads visitors up towards their rooms (on the left and right wings) from reception and the lobby. One branch extends east, the other west. There are fifteen (nine 1+0 and eight 1+1) rooms on each floor. Each room is semi-open, functional and flexible, and includes terraces and wooden sliding shutters.

Finally, the training centre has been designed to be barrier-free, integrative, and inclusive – and has been fitted with special disabled/handicap entrances, parking lots, washrooms, and elevators. There is also a 7,000 m² pentathlon field behind it meant for forest fire training. From there various observation points that look east-ward offers students panoramic views of the surrounding environs, as well as lend themselves as an alternative interaction space for users and training units alike. The Karabakh Forestry Training Centre’s architectural language is all about a multi-purpose distribution of space that interacts with topography – and by extension, naturescape – within which it is nestled.

LOCATION Karabağ - Azerbaijan
PROJECT TYPE Conference Center, Education, Administrative, Laboratories, Guest Houses, Restaurant - Social Club
CLIENT OGM - General Directorate of Forestry
STATUS Completed
PROJECT TEAM Şeyda Nur Turunç, Hatice Küçükbayram, Dilara Akkurt


Aura Design Studio