Like many countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, Turkey is undergoing rapid expansion and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially since so many developers are perpetuating an archaic building model that involves a lot of concrete and glass and often completely disregards the need to preserve existing vegetation or plan for climatic concerns.
But in Istanbul, Alataş Architecture & Consulting has taken a slightly different approach with the new 25 Ipera Apartment in complex. Concerned to respect the surrounding architecture but also create a comfortable, low-energy environment for residents, the Turkish design firm clad the building with four columns of protruding timber louvers that filter the sun.
Located on Tatarbeyi Sokak in the Galata District, the six storey apartment building is comprised of eight single story 80 square meter apartments and one double storey 190 square meter penthouse that is still for sale.
“The building is a residential project that extends beyond the conventional codes of the already-built environment, yet manages to reproduce these codes, respecting the existing architectural fabric,” according to the design brief posted on Dezeen.
Surrounded by a wall of glazing, the apartment building would have been a heat sponge without some kind of shading. But at the same time, it was important to maintain some kind of dynamic between each home and the street – a sense of connection – and allow daylighting to penetrate the interior.
The timber louvers solve both dilemmas, while also creating an exciting aesthetic that sets itself apartment from the rest of the street without alienating itself. The timber shades are operable by occupants, so they can control how much sunlight they want inside throughout the year.
Inside the apartments are modern and slightly too masculine for our taste, and the load bearing walls are constructed with concrete – an unsustainable material choice that is nonetheless ubiquitous in the Middle East region (and just about everywhere, right?)
Nonetheless, we applaud Alataş Architecture’s efforts to reduce the need for mechanical cooling or daytime electric lighting, which are small but significant steps towards a more earth-friendly urban dwelling.