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Istanbul Education Centre

type:  culture

location:  Istanbul, Turkey

date:  September, 2011

status:  competition

client:  ThyssenKrupp Elevator

area:  9,450 sq. m.

credits:  Vlado Valkof – architect; Malgorzata Blasik, Minko Marinov – designers; Peter Kochevski, Viki Raytcheva – visualizations

The intention of the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Istanbul Disaster Prevention and Education Centre Competition is to organize a joyful, integral space where man reconciles with nature. In addition to animate forms, we have manipulated the movement in order to induce the production of new urban opportunities.

Our proposal links together the two main areas of Prevention-Education and After-effect response-rescue (the shelter). In the Prevention-Education area, the visitors first shall watch, observe, scrutinize the phenomena in the Planetarium, 4D Video room, and the Exhibition area grouped around the Lobby and then personally participate, experience, test the phenomena in the Simulation wing of the building.

Our study of pedestrian traffic density shows the main pedestrian approach from the south (along the Ayamama Creek embankment, Istanbul World Trade Centre, CNR Expo Centre, and WoW Hotel), east (Yenibosna Metro Station and the future mosque plaza), and north (Kültür University and Airport Shopping Mall). The new building steps back from the planned mosque and provides an open gathering plaza – park around the mosque.

The building is covered with a green roof. The two long but low-rise man-made flowing hills of simulations and parking wings crawl up and merge above the lobby, opening sight views towards the Sea of Marmara. Two escalators bring visitors from the roofscape down to the lobby and ticketing.

The car access is from the less busy northern street and leads to the parking garage wing (2.5m clear height) which is a setback from that street and attached to the lobby. Along the street and in front of the parking garage is located the buses drop-off/pick-up area adequate for 3-4 school and tourist buses. The simulation sections (3m clear height) form another wing on ground level attached to the lobby. Between the parking garage and simulation sections there is an inner courtyard – park – plaza connected with the lobby. The entry – lobby – planetarium – 4D video room – conference room – library (they all need higher ceilings) are in the central volume (8m clear height) directly accessible from ground level and from all other wings. The administration wing (3m clear height) is the only one on the 2nd floor with natural light and controlled access only for the staff.  The administration wing cantilevers above / bend over the entry plaza. It is between in and out space which plays the role of a shelter in times of disaster: folded landscape furniture of the picnic plaza (benches, tables, and planters) has a hybrid, multiple functions and turns into a shelter furniture (beds and tables).

The exterior cladding material of oxidized copper is inspired by the name and history of the site’s home district of Bakırköy (Copper Village). Traditional cobblestone “kaldirim” for pavement and grass/seating areas in between are designed at the plazas.