Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
IBTECH IT Center Headquarters in Gebze – Kocaeli, Turkey by CM Mimarlık
September 9th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: CM Mimarlık
The building is situated in the TÃ¼bitak MAM (Marmara Research Center) compound in Gebze, approx. 90 km east of Istanbul. The fact that the present operational structure of the company demanded a campus form which emerges from the coalescence of office spaces with the additional recreation, meeting and service areas lead us to a more diverse design than a conventional office building.
When we first saw the site, the first thing that caught our attention and as well became one of the major design criterias was the landscape which leaned towards the green belt and the bay on the southern horizon with a %10 slope.
Another design criterion was the need to divide the construction process into two stages. At the beginning of the design process, both the requirement program and the work schedule included a two staged construction period. Primarily, the larger part was to be designed and built while the second parts construction was to begin only after the first stage was completed. This way of planning required projects for both the separate stages of the construction as well as for the unified outcome we aimed to reach. There were two major difficulties concerning this scenario. The first problem was the need to isolate the construction of the second stage from the already finished and operating first part. After that, the eventual integration between the two stages should have to be seamless.
Under the circumstances mentioned above, we decided that dividing the building into three parts which should result in better unification of the two stages. Dividing the first stage into two united parts would enable us to use a similar design method to link the second stage to the first.
The main entrance was to be linked to the road level by a bridge is conceived as a separate steel frame unit between the blocks A and B. This simplified the orientation of the visitors and the employees. On the other hand, the secondary building entrance and the entrance to the covered parking garage were to be located at the southern faÃ§ade of block C which is settled on the lower level of the site.
Horizontal circulation would be provided by four steel bridges linking the three main blocks. Three of the bridges would be staggered and of a single-storey, the fourth two-stories, and they would vary in length from 14 to 17 meters.
The blocks form a semi-open courtyard facing the view to the southeast. The courtyard mainly serves as a recreational space which is in close relationship with other spaces like the cafeteria, fitness room, swimming pool and the dining hall also located on the ground level.
After the excavation and construction, a ground restoration with the aim to preserve the natural %10 slope is carried out. The aluminium frame faÃ§ade, the partial roof slope, the fenestation and main contours of the filled faÃ§ades are all referenced to this natural slope on the terrain. On the side of the block overlooking the view each storey was successively regressed, there by lightening the appearance of the maas while providing terraces facing the offices.
The cafe located on the block B is connected to the natural terrain with stairs descending through a void on its ground. Just like the open courtyard and the relations it creates between several parts of the building, through the use of open terraces and connections with the terrain, we wanted the building to have strong interactions with the environment it is located in.
The entrance faÃ§ade and the northern facade were designed clearly more massive than the other faÃ§ades creating a strong contrast. The southwestern faÃ§ade on the other hand, has a unique character on its own because of the needs deriving from the functions located on that side of the building. Here, a more controlled glass faÃ§ade with a dotted texture was chosen in order to filter the effects of the sunlight to a certain extent.
The horizontal circulation of the offices were designed at the faÃ§ades facing the courtyard, together with the bridges connecting the three different blocks are the main elements of the circulation scheme clearly of vital importance in a building consisting of three different parts though operating as a single enterprise.
The plans to divide the construction into two stages were abandoned after the start of the process and all the blocks were simultaneously constructed as single complex.
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