İğneada is a small town on the Black Sea coast, within Kırklareli Province, in the north-western side of Turkey. The area reserves a number of rare ecosystems of floodplain and deciduous forests, coastal dunes, freshwater and salt water lakes, all combined with rich fauna and flora. Incorporating such ecologic diversity in a small region makes İğneada a unique location in European context.
The project site is an afforestation area covering 17 hectares of land, with trees planted by the local authorities approximately 40 years ago. It’s located by the main road leading to the center of İğneada, 1km away from the sea. Ivy-climbed or moss-covered oak and pine trees, forest fruit bearing shrubs, briar bushes, and a vast variety of fungi are only a few species that are already present in the project site. İğneada Glamping project has a valuable mission of protecting the local forestall ecosystem, by defining a new use for the area.
İğneada attracts a remarkable amount of tourists, especially nature-related activity and outdoor recreation seekers. The project aims to meet the needs of those who would like to experience İğneada’s special natural context, while introducing a new kind of accommodation: glamping. Glamorous camping is a currently wide spreading type of nature-based tourism, where the visitors would have the direct contact with nature without giving up certain comforts of modern life.
The overall design of Longosphere Glamping and leisure complex is based on three functionally varying zones and their interrelations. A carefully planned hierarchy and circulation pattern reflects itself physically on the masterplan. Three main areas, being daycation zone, activity zone and accommodation zone are planned to form three leaf shaped areas merging at one point -the entrance. The entrance point, located on the north-east edge of the site, is also the focal point of concentric semi-circles that regulates public-to-private distribution of the units. Main circulation paths delineating the zones are composed of roads for electric golf carts, bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths. Each zone is further divided with a central axis (route for in-zone circulation) and two radial paths (route for between-the-zones passage) which are only for pedestrian use.
The area dedicated to daily visitors (the east leaf on masterplan) includes picnic areas where the cooking activity will take place in a controlled and forest-friendly manner. It is reached by a path with small shops around. This zone will be for all users but mainly will serve as an establishment for excursionists who will visit the facility for single-day basis.
Activity zone is located in the middle, extending towards the south limits of the site as a binding element for other two. Tennis and basketball fields, a multipurpose green amphitheater, an adventure park and two thematic tent villages for young visitors are the core functions of this zone.
The third and the largest zone (the west leaf) is designed for accommodation and services for boarding visitors. At the center of this zone, a biological lake will fill the natural valley formation, making use of the existing topographic qualities of the site to create an attraction factor and therefore to enhance the visitor experience. Around the lake, different types of lodging units that vary from cabins to glamping tents are organized in 7 thematic villages, with their camping squares. Additionally, a lobby cafe, a spa and a meeting hall are designed to serve the visitors’ specific needs.
All units in the project – from the smallest service units to the biggest gathering spaces – are designed as variations on a theme. A single structural system and material palette are applied to different forms. Each unit is wrapped with a framework of repeating wooden ribs which define the modularity, give the scale, and constitute the final form. A secondary rib system that runs in the opposite direction serves as the load-bearing to the main rib system. Every unit sits on supports and is slightly detached from the natural ground, ensuring the minimum impact on the existing vegetation and soil formation. As the main aspect of overall design approach, natural, sustainable and recyclable materials with minimum ecologic footprint are to be utilized for the making of each unit.
The project of Longosphere Glamping is ambitious and innovative in its conceptual aspects, carrying the potential of giving value to the surrounding area and offering an unprecedented nature-tourism experience in Turkey, while aiming to remain environmentally appropriate.
Project location: IGNEADA / KIRKLARELI / TURKEY
Design year: 2017-2019
Year Built: 2020
Photo Credits: Emre Dorter