Museum of Hodja Ahmed Yasawi

Museum of Hodja Ahmed Yasawi

“An inevitable circular meeting point of two historical paths”

   Museum of Hodja Ahmed Yassawi project area has been selected as one of the most popular future tourist attractions. Located at the historically renowned Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Second Mecca) and the mosque Maszhid Khudzha Akhmad Yasavi, in the City of Turkistan, Kazakhstan.

   Our main purpose is to create a strong accessibility and connection to the pre-existing axial alignments of the site. Processional passages between the proposed new museum, mosque and mausoleum of Hodja Ahmed Yasawi establish visual alignment, processional connection and infuse the city with a new urban promenade celebrating religion, history and the urban renaissance of Turkistan. A sense of awe and power endow three significant sites sharing the same name and tied together with two historical and expanded urban paths. The design aims to provide integration three ways, which are Cult (Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi), Sharia (Maszhid Khudzha Akhmad Yasavi and Truth (Museum of Hodja Ahmed Yassawi).We have found inspiration within Sufism, Hodja Ahmed Yasawi’s lifestyle, thoughts, following his way and Divan-ı Hikmet.

   Museum of hodja Ahmed Yassawi proposes a uniquely shaped “round form design”. Drawn from natural references points around the site, and the culminating integration of the historic place of Islamic and medieval Turks. The museum and masterplan respond to the context by using traditional facade material with modern building techniques and establishing an inevitable circular meeting point of two historical paths. The museums lookout points enable never-before seen 360 panoramic view of the historical city of Turkistan.

   Our main mass is placed at the axial point of conjunction between the Mausoleum (second mecca) and the Maszhid, also axially aligned to Mecca. The Mausoleum and Masjid axial conjunction meet at a tangential point of naturally occurring circulation. A circular semi-open museum, which direct two paths from the original heritage buildings on the site. The Second Mecca Passage and Mecca Passage: Two existing urban walkways which expansion and conjoined meeting point become the interior ramps of the museum’s circulation. The passages within the museum allow visual interaction, merge and intertwine in a double helical processional museum facility leading both up vertically to a panoramic lookout deck, and down into the earth in perfect balance. Both ramp-ways Second Mecca and Mecca proceed throughout the museum; both leading up and down. Through semi-open and interior spaces. This experience brings together historic and contemporary, interior and exterior, ground and sky to one sublime moment. Forming an oculus above, a lateral open atrium, and grounded below by a Madrasah courtyard. The Madrasa meeting place inspire creativity, and serves as a place to organize museum functions, and gatherings as precedented by Medieval and Islamic Architecture Madrasah.

Central main mass “round form design” was inspired at large by the historical Islamic dome and formed as a modern interpretation of Medieval Turk, Islamic and Persian Architecture.

The courtyard, water element pulls the vitality of the historic promenade deep into the building, creating a unique interior experience that is full of life and energy. Space facilitates the interaction between public and private, and socializing between the collective, nature and the individual; reconnecting children and young people to their origins and with their surrounding ecosystem.

Covering a 10,000-square-metre area, the museum is organized into two identical complexes: one semi-open museum and one cultural and education Centre located at 1st basement level (-.5.00). The museum is the central facility of the project, with adjoining open and well-shaded courtyards at basement level (-5.00), where the cultural and education Centre is located.


   The main purpose of the mass organization is to build with respect to the surrounding historical zone, keep it simple. The only museum zone would be placed on the ground floor level to respect other historical buildings, and not introduce competition between them. With respect to surrounding heritage sites, we have placed a cultural and educational Centre in the 1st basement floor.Our double helical ramp system provides wheel chair accessible passages throughout all floors.

   The main square could be used for possible access to open courtyard and water elements, which visitors could enjoy on the ramp to the top floor observation Deck. Then stroll down another ramp through to the basement, or the ground floor. The properties of the ramp system create uninterrupted passages and access for visitors. If they use Second-Mecca-ramp to reach the top floor, they can use Mecca-ramp down to the basement floor courtyard, or ground floor where they came. If the users come from our main square, they could reach observation floor using starter ramp on the basement floor.From our main square could be possible access to open courtyard and water element which is located at the center of the project.

   On the 1st basement floor, surrounded around the courtyards, the building includes a number of flexible communal spaces, ranging from reading spaces and television rooms to library and meeting rooms, workshop rooms; a sanitary zone, cafe and restaurant where the people can relax and play, study in their space freely. A form that sits within its forest setting. Designed with high-quality acoustics and efficient circulation in mind. The Culture and Educational Centre, located on the Basement Floor (-5.00) was designed as a new venue for students to showcase their creative talents in a formal setting.

   The double height Auditorium level (-5.00), (-10.00), designed a "Cultural Living Room" space which doubles as a foyer and a creative hub for the arts: a place that can cater to exhibitions, smaller impromptu performances, creative teaching and cultural gatherings.

   This building with its surrounding cylindrical museum program and central gathering courtyard will not only benefit the pupils and parents of Turkistan but will also bring together Turkistan local communities and our many partnership schools. It is to be a beacon of excellence and a powerful symbol of the way in which the Arts can transform both lives and communities.

   Both sides fronted by a transparent glass façade, open to the courtyard (-5.00). The exterior surrounding garden gives Turkistan an active 360 degrees frontage and a face to artistic activities. A face revealing an awe-inspiring history to observe from the city, discover inside and look back out from. The building is clad with a turquoise parametric brick design and assembled with robotic construction. Within and in between, an open and dynamic facade weaves an unforgettable experience through the helical interior rampways Second Mecca ramp and Mecca ramp.

   The water element located at the center creates an intermediary space, between inside and out, giving the effect of a large veranda overlooking the surrounding landscape and creating a comfortable environment with no need for air conditioning. The building would be constructed with local resources and based on local techniques. As well as being cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, this approach created a building with strong connections to its surroundings and with the community that it serves.

   The foyer area located under the water pool level (-10.00), will display a ceiling with reinforced transparent glass material extending the feeling of water and light below.