The Revolarization of Industrial Heritage: AGU Sumer Campus in Kayseri, Turkey
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The Sumerbank Textile Factory in Kayseri (1932-1935) was one of the earliest and largest industrial complexes designed and constructed following the foundation of the Turkish Republic. This was a striking ensemble of buildings with rationalist and functionalist vocabulary, which also functioned as an urban center of social and cultural modernization, providing work and cultural/recreational activities based on a secular and westernized way of life in contrast with the existing traditional society. The factory went through a number of technological changes during its production history, and was finally closed and abandoned in 1999. The site, located along the northern development corridor of the city, and its buildings soon became derelict and were vandalized. Various projects for its regeneration as a green area were not implemented. National designation followed for the site in 2003 and for the buildings in 2007. However no conservation or adaptive re-use plans were made until the allocation of the complex to Abdullah Gul University in 2012. Today the complex is being transformed into an urban university campus. The master plan dated 2014 aims to redefine the urban and socio-cultural function of the complex. The open campus concept will welcome the citizens to an architecturally preserved and restored site with a selection of new activities focusing on culture and education at different levels where the spirit and memory of place will be sustained.