THE BUILDING WITHIN THE CITYSCAPE
The horizon (or skyline) is the apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth's surface, and those that do not. At many locations, the true horizon is obscured by trees, buildings, mountains, etc., and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon
The building manages not only to harmonize but also to contribute to the distinctive and characteristic visible horizon of Istanbul which was created over many centuries. The main building is floating close to the ground but its prominent vertical towers (experiential lifts) rise above it – creating a visual and conceptual connection with the city.
The cityscape within the building
"Just as the walls, the columns, etc, are the elements which compose buildings, so buildings are the elements which compose cities" Nicolas-Louis Durand
A city like Istanbul consists of a large group of buildings, all programmed to generate essential amenities. In comparison to a single confined building, new things begin to happen with a collection of buildings. A playful atmosphere is created as one walks, turns a corner and an unexpected structure is suddenly revealed. New spatial qualities arise by the composition of buildings and people start to feel bewildered by their ability to select and interact with their surroundings. Our proposal is about bringing buildings with different functions and forms together in a group, so that one can enter and experience this group. All these buildings act as structural cores and leave the surrounding space floating between ground and sky. Structural elements - towers are not just load-bearing but accommodate many of the spaces required by the programme.
Building with the buildings
With this in mind this new space that is created in-between the buildings seems to have each own pace and use. A territory both interior and exterior that allows the visitor to explore it without being obliged to enter any of the other individual buildings. At the same time glimpses inside the integrated structures reveal a new time-space frame that one can enter whenever he wants.
In addition, with this gesture, the size of the protruding buildings is emphasized by the comparison between the different scales that exist on site. Thus instead of just being tall, the buildings tower just like mosques dominate the skyline of Istanbul.
THE AIM OF OUR ARCHITECTURAL PROPOSAL FOR THE ISTANBUL DISASTER PREVENTION and EDUCATION CENTRE IS TO TAKE ELEMENTS FROM BOTH THE ENVIRONMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE; BUILDINGS, TREES, NATURE, LIGHT, SHADOW, WATER, MEDIA ETC AND TO WEAVE THEM TOGETHER IN ONE HOMOGENEOUS ENTITY. THEIR SYNTHESIS and COOPERATION BECOMES THE PROPOSED BUILDING. JUST LIKE THE COOPERATION AND JOINT EFFORT OF PEOPLE DURING A NATURAL PHENOMENON THAT IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT A NATURAL DISASTER.
The interweaving is materialized with two different layers (skins) that intersect each other. One is a thick dense concrete skin with Morse coded windows and the other one is a semi-transparent steel media mesh.
In order to render the term “EDUTAINMENT”, the proposed building aims to challenge the visitor with "learning by experiencing" processes, so that one is subtly introduced to the objective of the building's program which is to prepare against natural disasters.
One of these processes is the use of MORSE CODE. different words are translated to Morse code and are used as windows to the main concrete façade of the building. Through the MORSE code the building communicates with the outside world like people would do in case of an emergency situation. The emergency becomes familiar and the goal it’s achieved – lets don’t forget that natural disasters have always been part of nature and history –and cannot be avoided. In addition to the building’s title, examples of words translated to Morse code are: earthquake, SOS, fire, survival, cooperation. Oriented towards Mecca are words like hope, prayer, faith.
Another experiential learning process is the twofold character of the second skin of the proposed building. On one hand is a semi- transparent stainless steel mesh that gently homogenizes the main façade by soothing the punctured state created by walls and windows and on the other hand it de-materializes itself and turns into an illuminated medium for sending messages, offering visual information about natural phenomena as well as broadcast major events.
Additionally, one of the Building’s Separations (seismic joint) has been stretched apart creating a visual “crack in the ground”- allowing light and emerging views to penetrate the building while becoming another part of the proposal’s experiential learning process.
Lastly, another approach to experiential learning is the use of soil-filled sacks (earth bags) as seating. Instead of just relaxing people are familiarized with the natural building technique that evolved from historic military bunker construction techniques and temporary flood-control dike building methods.
As the main building area is lifted floating above earth, two things happen: the pre-existing ground remains, shaded and protected underneath the main structure of the building and a new ground level emerges above it, a planted roof, semi-shaded by the mesh skin. Both the existing as well as the new ground level are open to the public (in an emergency situation these areas can accommodate and protect people affected by natural disasters). These two levels are spatially linked by a large stairway that becomes a new rising landscape for people to bask in the beautiful sunshine of Turkey as well as sit and attend a seminar with a view to the surrounding environment. Vertically beneath this large experiential stairway the interior inclined level becomes the enclosed conference hall.
Finally the proposal has the ability to adapt to future demands and changing conditions by adding new building elements into the existing framework.