The aforementioned office project is located in the Gebze/Kocaeli Tübitak MAM (MarmaraResearchCenter) area. 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.
As 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 criteria 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 part’s 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 proper integration of the two parts in a way that no stitches can be recognized created the other big difficulty of the project.
The above mentioned circumstances led us to the idea of disintegrating the building into three parts. After the integration of the first two included in the first stage of the construction, the third one could be integrated with the blocks A and B in the latter stage of the construction using the same method as in the first stage.
The main entrance which is connected to the road level with a bridge is designed as a separate steel construction unit between the blocks A and B. This separate unit provides a much easier orientation to the visitors and the working personnel. On the other hand, the secondary building entrance and the entrance to the parking garage are located at the southern façade of block C which is settled on the lower level of the parcel.
The connections between the three blocks are provided with three single and one double decked steel bridges; four in total, whose lengths vary between 14 and 17 meters depending on the need of horizontal circulation.
The building blocks create an open courtyard between them which faces the landscape on 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 façade system, the partial roof slope, window openings and main contours of the façades are all referenced to this natural slope on the terrain. In order to lighten the mass of the blocks, terraces for the use of the offices are created by pulling back certain floors on the endings facing the landscape. 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 façade and the northern facade are designed clearly more massive than the other façades creating a strong contrast. The southwestern façade on the other hand, has a unique character on its own because of the need deriving from the functions located on that side of the building. Here, a more controlled glass façade with a dotted texture is chosen in order to filter the effects of the sunlight to a certain extent.
The horizontal circulation of the offices designed at the façades 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.
ARCHITECTURAL CRITICS: DOÇ. DR. DENİZ GÜNER
VİTRA CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE SERIES – I
The Gebze Campus of TÜBITAK, located in the Barış quarter of Gebze, Kocaeli, is separated from the city center of Gebze by the E-5 Highway and the developing industrial zone; the campus expands over a large area comprised of 800 acres that extend to the sea shore. IBTech was first established as an IT enterprise in 2005, and in the same year was relocated to 60 acres of the Tübitak MAM Teknokent campus, which was designated the TÜBITAK MAM Technology Free Zone; since 2009, IBTech has provided services from the newly-built general management premises of the IBTech Data Processing Center. The building, constructed in an area where there are few residential buildings, islocated on an inclined area. Built on a circular cul-de-sac, it is adjacent to the Turkcell Technology Research and Development building designed by Erginoğlu & Çalışlar and the Turkish Technology Center.
The planning approach of Teknokent and the free zones was limited by the parcelingof the land. The concern to design without reference to the buildings which had been constructed over time without planning, that is, the concern to generate an individual vernacular and solution on the allocated parcels and the necessity to establish contextual relationships outside the restrictive environmental data, such as the fragmented pattern scheme that arose from this individualism and the road network connectingthis scheme, meant that the designers had to develop the contextual relationships independently; in other words, they had to invent the context. In order to establish this relationship, focusing on the construction site and topography, CM Architecture, proposed a staged construction of a fragmented mass in accordance with the commissioner’srequest. It was proposed that the pieces of the whole would be brought together around an inner-construction that became a space in its own right using the lie of the land to express the tension created by the relationship with the incline. The contextual framework was developed with functional intervention by defining the forms in relation to the incline.
With a total construction area of 13,700 square meters, the structure was to be constructed in stages; the three parts that are connected by covered bridges were to be constructed at the same time. An external space between them opens onto the landscape and scenery, creating an interface. The fact that the façades which look onto this exterior space have been designed as absolutely transparent, and that the horizontal lines of circulation continue along the facades of this space in the plan means that the movements of the employees during their daily tasks and the dynamism created by these actions can be observed throughout the day, while the uninterrupted transparency that is created provides multiple perspectives into the depths of the structure.
Beyond the perception of the exterior as an ordinary optical illusion, the inclined construction of the façade brings the slope of the terrain to the fore; the tense relationship that the structure establishes with the land allows us to perceive the resistance to the topography while also demonstrating an ontological attitude.
The transparent coating of the IBTech building is independent of the building as the façades are arranged parallel to the terrain’s incline. This structure is an exceptional example in Turkish architecture of the creation of a tense relationship between the structure and the facade in accordance with Le Corbusier’s Domino proposal that the façade should be liberated from the structure.