Whether or not a 100,000 square meter office complex could possibly come with even a net environmental benefit is debatable, but the fact that a design wrapped in green won an international competition for such a complex signals a potential shift in Turkey’s urban planning.
A working class neighborhood currently populated by a series of drab concrete buildings, Kağıthane has undergone a dramatic transformation since the 1970s. Unplanned sprawl has resulted in unsafe, miserable communities that are regularly flooded when it rains, and it’s hard to find even a twig sprouting from the ground. But JDS Architects aims to change that with their Premier Campus Office.
Staged by a major real estate developer, Feryapi, the design competition called for a 100,000 square meter climate sensitive office complex in Kağıthane.
JDS Architects responded with a design that is wrapped in green from head to toe – so to speak. All of the offices spill out onto lush green terraces, which not only provide an important aesthetic service that improves the ambience, but also provides several environmental benefits as well.
Green roofs and terraces, such as those planned for the Premier Campus, provide natural insulation that will reduce temperatures, prevent storm water runoff and help to promote biodiversity – particularly in an urban environment that is badly lacking in this department.
The design proposes to mimic the rolling hills of Istanbul in both plan and section by staggering each level of the multi-storey complex; in so doing, JDS creates a series of lush stepped terraces that welcome workers as they exit their offices.
And we all know by now that nature integration is crucial to good health.
So, whilst we’re loathe to see more massive construction projects in any of the Middle East’s already overcrowded cities, if they have to happen, we’re pleased to see a trend that favors designs that incorporate vegetation.
That being said, the new Istanbul airport will sacrifice a total of 658,000 old trees. We’d like to think that sustainable design will outweigh its alternative, but only time will reveal that score.
:: Arch Daily