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U.K. charity names Taiwan-Reyhanli Centre building of the month

2022-10-06
Focus Taiwan
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Photo courtesy of Chiu Chen-yu
Photo courtesy of Chiu Chen-yu

Istanbul, Oct. 4 (CNA) The Taiwan-Reyhanli Centre for World Citizens in Turkey has been named "Building of the Month" for September by the Twentieth Century Society (C20), a U.K. architectural heritage preservation group.

The center is situated 5 kilometers from Turkey's border with Syria and rests on a base structure that is made from prefabricated concrete barriers that are often seen along the reinforced and militarized border, C20 said in a feature article on its website.

The barriers are rotated to an open position, 6.35 meters apart in parallel with an array of thin metal shells that reach about 10 m in height, C20 said.

"As an entirely contemporary building, or more accurately described as a series of participatory building processes, its physical form evokes different interpretations, some historically and culturally charged," C20 said.

The center provides everyone a space to pray, learn, work, exchange, care and play, C20 said.

More than 250,000 Syrians, many of whom are women and children, have fled to Reyhanli, which had a pre-war population of fewer than 100,000.

During the center's design and construction process, close consultations with local NGOs and groups of communities were made to consolidate its programs, C20 said.

"The layered narratives and pluralistic characters that make the architecture of the Taiwan-Reyhanli Centre, from the Turkish-English-Arabic lessons, meow-meow pouch and woof-woof scarf making, free children cinema, and library, vegetable gardens, women's weaving workshops, laundry center, art gallery, PEP bottles recycling, solar energy, and bio-waste, proves that the addition of parts remains greater than a whole," C20 said.

Chiu Chen-yu (裘振宇), the principal architect and director of the center, described the Taiwan-Reyhanli Centre for World Citizens to be more along the lines of a community center, C20 said.

"It is not a refuge center per se, but a community center," C20 quoted Chiu as saying. "This is where you help the community, and the community helps you."

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