All posts by Ezgi Arslan

The Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre

The Bengt Sjostrom Theatre is an outdoor community theater located on the Rock Valley College campus in Rockford, Illinois. It was constructed in 1983 and is dedicated to the memory of Bengt Sjostrom, builder and civic leader, who was the general contractor when the college buildings were constructed, from 1967 to 1971. Rock Valley College began remodeling the Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre in 2001 with Studio Gang Architects. The design of the 135,000 sq ft theatre renovation maintains the tradition of open air performances at Rock Valley College while allowing the theatre company to extend its season in any weather.


The WMS Boathouse

The WMS Boathouse at Clark Park is currently home to the Chicago Rowing Foundation (CRF). In partnership with the Chicago Park District, the CRF offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities year round, including learn to row sessions both in tanks and on the river, youth and masters team rowing, ergometer training, rowing-inspired yoga classes, and lessons tailored to individuals with disabilities.

The shape of the building was designed by Jeanne Gang and her team as the letter M and V so the roof is different and allows to adapt Chicago’s seasonal variations. The roof lets in southern light through the building’s upper clerestory, warming the structure’s floor slab in winter and providing ventilation during summer months.Boathouse_Steve_Hall_(c)_Hedrich_Blessing_015wms-boathouse-s090114-s9

SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center

SOS Children’s Villages is the largest orphan and abandoned children’s charity in the World. SOS Children’s Villages has been in operation since 1969 in USA. Headquartered in Washington D.C., they strive to create awareness and build support for SOS Villages around the world.

Architect Jeanne Gang and her team worked on SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center, completed in 2008, a 16,800 square-foot foster care community center on Chicago’s South Side.


Studio Gang created a system to integrate the material donations into the design. The material donations are literally revealed in a large exterior ‘strata’ wall made of varying mixes of concrete cast into wavy horizontal layers. These horizontal layers on the wall make the building different and beautiful, it also expresses the liquid nature of the material.


Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

Arcus Center, as a study center and meeting space, the building brings together students, faculty, visiting scholars, social justice leaders, and members of the public for conversation and activities aimed at creating a more just world.

The center’s design is visually open and activated by daylight. The plan encourages to break down psychological and cultural barriers between people and help facilitate understanding. The presence of a living room and kitchen for sharing food at the center of the building creates the potential for informal meetings and encounters. I think that the design of this building is unusual and useful.1015-arcus-image-0111015-arcus-image-009

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It is also one of a few free admission zoos in the United States.

The Nature Boardwalk project designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, transformed a picturesque urban pond from the 19th century into an ecological habitat buzzing with life. A new boardwalk circumscribing the pond passes through various educational zones that explicate the different animals, plants, and habitat found in each.

It was inspired by the tortoise shell in the design of the boardwalk. This project is also one of the best project of Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects.




Aqua is a skyscraper in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects and it was her first skyscraper project. The Aqua was awarded the Emporis Skyscraper Award as 2009 skyscraper of the year. The project was the largest ever awarded to an American firm headed by a woman.

The building contains 55,000 sq ft of retail and office space, in addition to 215 hotel rooms, 476 rental residential units and 263 condominium units & penthouses. Aqua is the first downtown building to combine condos, apartments and a hotel.

800px-Aqua_Tower_Chicagoed1152d015dac13b96f3db5f9a94d6a7The facade of the building is unusual. It was inspired a common topographic feature of the Great Lakes region. Therefore, it looks extraordinary and fascinating.


The Library of Celsus


The Library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus that was an ancient city on the coast of Ionia, now part of Izmir, Turkey. It was built in honour of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus by Celsus’ son and it was completed sometime between 117- 120 AD. The library was “one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire” and built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a mausoleum for Celsus. Although the library was destroyed by an earthquake, the façade of the library was re-erected again by archaeologists. It can be clearly seen the effect of Greek architecture looking the columns and statues. The statues also symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete) which are the virtues of Celsus. The library of Celsus has a really impressive façade when it is considered that it was built in 120 AD.


Izmir Clock Tower

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This is a historic clock tower located at the main square in Izmir, Turkey. The clock tower was designed by the Levantine French architect Raymond Charles Pere and built in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Abdulhamid II’s accession to the throne. Although it hasn’t a breathtaking architecture, this building is important for me because it is the symbol of Izmir, the city I was born. It is decorated in Ottoman architecture style but the columns are inspired by Moorish themes. This clock tower is really precious to me since it symbolizes my hometown.

The Alhambra



The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Spain. It’s one of the major tourist attractions of Spain and it‘s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture of this palace has characteristic of Arabic and Islamic elements. Every part of the palace, including gardens, pools etc., is beautiful and breathtaking.  I have been influenced this building especially when it was illuminated at night. Besides the magnificence of its panoramic view, all details on the ceiling, doors and windows were also impressive.



The Blue Mosque



The Blue Mosque s a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. The design is the culmination of two centuries of Ottoman mosque development. It incorporates some Byzantine Christian elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, synthesized the ideas of his master Mimar Sinan who was the chief Ottoman architect. I was really impressed when I have visited this mosque because both interior and exterior architecture were spectacular. The interior of the mosque is lined with Iznik style ceramic tiles which have different tulip designs and these ceramic tiles make the mosque blue. Another different thing about this mosque is that it has six minarets instead of four and this makes it more magnificent.9