Manifesto-Building a Wooden Cave

The valley of Kapadokya was formed millions of years ago from the erosion of layers of lava and ash that originated from the volcano Erciyes. Wind and rain have carved the layers of ash and created a unique landscape. For thousands of years, people have been living in this region by carving ?nto the soft stone and mod?fy?ng natural caves ?nto dwell?ngs. The most prominent type of reg?onal structure incorporates these subterranean elements. Material choice in this region is almost never wood. Because the daily temperature differences can exceed 15 °C, Kapadokians believe that wood is not a suitable material. This project aims to show otherwise; that wood can endure the local climat?c fluctuat?ons. Since the project lot does not consist of a cave, the structure must stand alone. While its regular form creates a contrast with the irregular surrounding which consists of fairy chimneys, it acts like a big massive boulder, forming a strong connection to the ground. While visually creating such a mass effect, the actual mass is relatively low due to the use of timber as the main material. The finishing material, a type of polyurethane coating is chosen to even strengthen the effect of solidness. The use of wood also avoids creating the permanent ?nterruptions to a historic region that the tunneling into the bedrock would. For thousands of years, people have been moving in and out of this area, leaving their tangible and intangible traces on the geocultural landscape. This history inspires the creation of a temporary dwelling to shelter artists and their creative ideas, enabling a space for them to create and engage with others and their surroundings for a period of time. 





3D Model

Structural Grid


The structure consists of 60 mm CLT panels repeated in 3 axes.

Exploded Axon


Plan Level 0.80

Plan Level 3.20

Circular and irregular openings are situated in the facade where it is possible to sit and enjoy the view.

Section Detail


Interior Image

Interior Image

Exterior Image

Structural Detail

Wooden Cave-Artist in Residence is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Mass Timber Design in 2021/2022 by student Esin Aydemir. Faculty: Elena Orte & Guillermo Sevillano. Course: MMTD01 – Projects