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    Sagres is not some random settlement with a faint story, but a rather crucial location where brave men changed the course of history. Many explor… Read More
    Sagres is not some random settlement with a faint story, but a rather crucial location where brave men changed the course of history. Many explorers, sailors and navigators embarked on exploratory journeys from the promontory of Sagres to the vastness of Atlantic Ocean, which started the era called the “Age of Discovery” in 15th century. Discovery and exploration has such significance in the history of Portugal that it is engraved in her flag, represented by colors of King Henry “the Navigator” and a depiction of a navigational device in its core, emphasizing Portugal’s crucial role in the Age of Discovery. Portuguese explorers did not go blindly into their explorations; they built special ships (Caravel), developed new techniques and devices. Commonly used by astronomers, astrologers & navigators; one device in particular has a special place in the Age of Discovery: the Astrolabe. This device is an elaborate inclinometer designed to determine/predict locations or coordinates by looking at the sun, moon and significant stars. One of its versions was adopted by explorers for wayfinding purposes, calling it the Mariner’s Astrolabe. This device made navigation on rough water much more efficient and precise, than previous astrolabes that were ill equipped to handle. Star-Taker (translation for the word “astrolabe”) is a compliment to Sagres; a reminder of and a homage to all explorers of the Age of Discovery, who set sail from Sagres to find and explore new lands, continents and communities. When you visit the site promontory, you will start a journey on a single star-path towards the Star-Taker, then rest in constellation squares where you can look up to the stars at night with a similar craving for discovery. You can return, but your journey wouldn't be complete... If you choose to continue, you will soon reach star-paths surrounding the landmark. These paths have brass triangular plates with carvings of various stars and star systems, which point towards corresponding stars at certain times. You can either go to lookout platforms protruding from the cliff and contemplate open seas; or go into Star-Taker walking past the Beacon. The Beacon is not a guiding light, nor it is as bright as the neighboring Cape St. Vincent Lighthouse, but it is merely a reminder to passersby that something worth discovering is here. Once you are inside Star-Taker, you will discover what is thematically displayed inside. And after you look outside, you will see that your journey is not finished here and there are new horizons out there, waiting to be discovered... The designed landmark, Star-Taker; aims to augment the historical characteristics of Sagres by deconstructing and reconstructing the basic principles of an astrolabe and a mariner’s astrolabe in an architectural way. Star-Taker’s volumetric vectoral inclination is inspired from the working principle of a mariner’s astrolabe, while its surrounding star-paths are inspired from the “Rete” piece of an astrolabe, which is a planar projection of a star map. Maximum height of the landmark from the cliff level is confined to the height of Cape St. Vincent Lighthouse and Sagres Fortress as a gesture of respect. The slits on the facade, that has the same angle of inclination, create a transitional effect in the landscape for the landmark; resulting in surfaces with three different types of materials. Material selection of Star-Taker is also a homage to its theme and surrounding; natural stone connects Star-Taker to the historical characteristics of Sagres, brass resembles the Age of Discovery - as brass is commonly used in astrolabes and mariner’s astrolabes in 15th century for its material properties like galvanic corrosion resistance from salt water, ease of shaping/casting, ferromagnetic, recycling, etc... - and empty observation slits evokes the obscurity of discovery. This material diversity of Star-Taker also symbolizes elemental surrounding of the site; as earth, water and air converge in this specific part of the promontory. Star-Taker and its surrounding elements are designed as a self-sustaining, low-maintenance system. The energy required for the landmark and beacon will be harvested from the solar panel fields spread all around the site promontory. The inclination of the landmark will facilitate rainwater collection. The collected rainwater then will be re-used in restrooms. As a result; material selections, use of passive electro-mechanical systems and choice of steel as main structural system will minimize the required maintenance of Star-Taker. Read Less
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>>   Published in yankodesign.com - Architecture to Explore  <<

>>   Published in "TASARIM" magazine (Turkey), October 2017 issue  <<
Conceptual Diagrams
WIP renders
Presentation Board
"TASARIM" magazine (Turkey), October 2017 issue