A Versatile Box

The project had its inception in the clients desire to consolidate his Istanbul operations onto one site to improve business efficiency and workplace environment in an ‘out of town’ European style ‘Business park’ development.

Design studies on the Bahceshir site began in June 95. The initial 3 months were spent looking at masterplanning options for 100.000mē of storage production and office buildings. The site adjoins the T.E.M with the third closest to the motorway being restricted for office use and the remainder allocated to industrial purposes. The layout of the storage and printing buildings was primarily determined by vehicular circulation and maximising expansion potential. Optimising the settlement levels of these large flat floored functions was also amajor consideration on a sloping site. To allow for future flexibility the phase one office building was only allowed to occupy 50% of the site designated for that purpose. This area was also to be planned for a future 1.000mē floorplate building a conference hall and a sports and leisure club. The phase one office building is located to provide a clear approach from within the site and so that both buildings present themselves well to both the visitor and passing traffic.

The concept for the Dogan Magazine Group office building was to provide two linked buildings of equivalent stature,one for Hurriyet and one for Milliyet each with floorplates of 1.000mē. The buildings are joined by a wedged shape atrium and share basement technical and social facilities. The angled arrangement is a counterpoint to the total simplicity of the other buildings on the site an provides an exaggerated perspective in the atrium opening up views of the landscape from the building entrance.

Stone and glass have been used on the faįade to achieve harmony with the nature and to carry the daylight into the building with a transparent construction.

When the site was secured in September work on the design and construction of the office building began in earnest. Speed was of the essence. The client wanted to design construct and occupy the building within 12 months. I have a vivid recollection of the design team walking the site with the client and deciding the location and settlement of the building with the aid of wooden pegs whilst mechanical diggers were idling in the background!

Architectural ambience

With only an outline programme of the clients requirements early decisions were made on an entirely strategic and economic basis to enable construction to proceed. The structural grid was set at 7.5m, 1.5m being one of the most common office planning modules, and a typical floorplate 45m x 22.5m being approximately 1.000mē and having a reasonable proportion of 2:1.

There was much debate as to the location of the cores and whether bridges should be provided between the two buildings. Eventually it was decided to place the cores within the buildings adjacent to the atrium with a stair arrangement whose landings project into it allowing users to experience the volume as they move up and down, and also signaling the building entrances from the atrium. The escape staircases are expressed as freestanding stone slabs placed assymetrically along the side elevations of the two buildings and provide some scultural relief to the simple full height fenestration of the office spaces.

The atrium roof is a linear system of monopitch glazing with steel structural gutters orientated to minimise solar gain. The roof structure is aligned only with the concrete frame of the angled building, the longest gutter beam has a span of 25m. There is a secondary structure linking the gutter beams at 3m centers which is also the centers of the vertical wind trusses supporting the atrium walls, these are also over 20m span.

The slope of the site is exploited by the building section the mechanical plant rooms and kitchens being cut into the site beneath the entrance level with 5.5m high glazed dining spaces enjoying views across the countryside at the rear of the building where the ground level is 6m lower. The basement of the next phase office building is already constructed as an entirely subterranean floor ready to rise up and provide some enclosure to the entrance area.

Aspirations for the building style and quality were set early on a joint visit of architect and client to several appropriate sites and projects in the UK.  It was decided to make extensive use of local natural materials and most importantly clear glazing to maximise daylight and transparency. Within these principles many options were studied for the main building systems.  Nothing was ever certain up until the moment the order was placed with a supplier this required a very flexible approach to the detailed design as changes of products occurred to save cost.

Site Area: 100.000mē
Construction Area: 14.500mē
1998 / istanbul