Project Signifance and Impact
The building constitutes the first example if its kind in demonstrating that conservation in the historic Galata District can be achieved successfully not merely by preserving and replicating the past. By extension, this approach has elicited positive responses from the city and thus blazed a trail in its own right.
The building gave impetus and a positive direction to the ongoing urban transformation at a stagnant and underdeveloped point in Galata.
In transforming an idea into a building, Alataş’ architectural stance, his light design, use of natural energy sources, and attempt to create readable structures, as well as the unconstrained, flexible, boundless, and transparent character of his designs are reflected everywhere from the connection details of the components to the relationship between the building and its setting.
Materials, Construction and Technology
The neighboring structures adjoin the building on all three sides on the sloped terrain with difficult working conditions. In order to avoid any possible damage to these structure, the building’s raft foundation and curtain walls were thus completed by using the hand-dug well foundation technique in stages.
In a city center where land is precious, the exposed concrete curtain walls and concrete floors isolating the building from its neighbors were poured in an extremely thin manner, resembling fire walls of the past. It was thus possible to use such a thin layer of concrete in a load-bearing system where concrete and steel were integrated and the structural elements functioned with vertical loads without receiving any momentum. In line with the needs of the structural system, the connection details of steel and concrete and the location and shape of the diagonal steel sets against lateral forces were specially designed by an architect. Instead of repeating the load bearing systems used frequently in this geography, this approach not only advanced the details but also introduced an innovative touch to the building’s architecture.
Cradled in steel and concrete and used uninterruptedly in the front and rear elevations, the structural glass façade pursues patent architecture that produces new details rather than succumbing to assembly architecture with familiar systems. The non-profiled sliding wings manufactured specifically for the façade and façade cover joints are produced with unique details that are not revealed at first glance. The concept of the transparent surface of wooden veil covering the two façades and the roof between two walls was developed specifically for this building by the architect himself. The concept was achieved by elegantly suspending the steel and wooden elements from the points holding the glass panes of the façade.
In the double-façade flats facing the east and the west, the temperature difference emerging between the façades at various hours of the day is designed to provide natural horizontal air conditioning.
While the moveable shell covering the outer façade protects the glass façades against daylight and heat in the summer, the 20-cm void between the building and its exterior creates a chimney effect and generates a natural air circulation around the building.
In winter, on the other hand, sunlight permeating through the moveable shell is stored as heat on the exposed concrete surfaces of the floor and walls, thereby providing heat conservation for the building and its dwellers.
Location: Galata, İstanbul, Turkey
Total Site Area: 154 sqm
Total Combined Floor Area: 1100 sqm
Materials: steel construction, concrete, wood, glass, stainless steel