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Architecture Students from Turkey and Armenia Designed and Built a Playground in Yerevan

students from MEF University in Turkey and National University of Architecture and Construction (NUACA) in Armenia.


The Hrant Dink Foundation organised a three-week summer school in Yerevan between June 24 and July 10, 2019, with the participation of 26 architecture students from MEF University in Turkey and National University of Architecture and Construction (NUACA) in Armenia. Participating students from the two neighbouring countries designed and built a playground at Direct Aid Association (DAA) Hospital School, where children aged between 2-17 continue their education while receiving treatment for their chronic health problems. Professors Avşar Karababa Erecir and Sibel Yasemin Özgan from MEF University, and Arthur Yeghikyanand Grigor Babajanyan from NUACA supervised and guided the students throughout these three weeks.

On the first day of the Architecture Summer School, the students paid a visit to the DAA Hospital School where they learnt about the school and its activities. The students had an opportunity to discuss the special needs of the hospitalized children attending the school, and explored the site to better understand the possibilities of design and scale of the playground to be built.

Throughout the Summer School, the architecture students from both countries worked both at NUACA and DAA Hospital School. Upon the supervision of their professors, the students started making the first sketches and models of the playground. During this process, the students also had a thought provoking discussion on inclusiveness as they needed to come up with a model that would respond to the needs of children with various sorts of health problems. Following the designing and modeling process, the students worked on the construction process and gained hands-on experience on the site. In this sense, the Summer School was a unique experience for the students as it was for the first time they had an opportunity to design a project and then built it with their own hands. Furthermore, the whole process created an enabling ground for experience and knowledge sharing. The children of the DAA Hospital School appreciated the playground built for them, and were very much looking forward to using it.


During the Architecture Summer School, MEF students and professors had an opportunity to get to know the Armenian architecture and culture. They had a tour in Yerevan as well as visited Garni, Ghegard and Gyumri, which introduced them to the main architectural trends and the landmarks of Armenia. They also visited TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and learnt about the main educational programmes and prominent projects of the Center.

On June 10th, 2019 the playground was finally opened, with a small ceremony that took place with the participation of the children at the DAA Hospital School, as well as the invited guests. The DAA Hospital School children summed up the day with their performance. At the end of the celebration, NUACA and MEF students received certificates of attendance as a sign of their dedicated efforts.

Architecture Summer School was a follow-up activity of a similar project organised in Istanbul in the summer of 2018, within the framework of MEF University’s Design Build Studio.










NUACA and MEF students and professors who participated in the Architecture Summer School

Anna Martirosyan
Anna Vardanyan
Anzhelika Manukian
Argam Shahbazyan
Arno Baghumyan
Arthur Yeghikyan
Avşar Karababa Erecir
Ayça Dursun
Ayşe Güldane Özdoğan
Çağla Akşahin
Fatma Nur Şahin
Gayane Aramyan
Gegham Dadalyan
Gnel Yeghiazaryan
Grigor Babajanyan
Melsida Babayan
Meri Grigoryan
Mert Can Keskin
Rengin Şeşeoğulları
Sarkis Agopian
Satuk Buğra Sarı
Şebnem Akalın
Sena Sevinç Öztürk
Serkan Alp Balekoğlu
Serly Vartabedian
Sibel Yasemin Özgan
Svetlana Ohanyan
Varduhi Yeghiazaryan
Viktorya Demirtshyan
Yeva Nazaryan

This project has been carried out by the Hrant Dink Foundation
with the financial support of the US Embassy in Yerevan and Chrest Foundation.


Hrant Dink Foundation

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