The new Ford Otosan Research and Development Centre facilitates in İstanbul, located on the edge of European route E 80, also known as Trans-European Motorway (TEM) , extending from Portugal to Turkey, connecting 10 countries. The new R&D centre operates next to the Istanbul junction of TEM and is part of a larger complex of Ford which contains the marketing offices, training centre and stocking facilities.
The context that surrounds this section of the TEM is a typical highway adjacent, uncharacteristicly structured urban fabric occupied in its majority by indurstrial buildings of varying scale and porportion which service themselves from this main artery.
The new R&D building is the fourth design centre of FORD fully equipped with high-end technologies and infrastructure capable of serving 1500 people in 38.000 sqm.The program of the centre covers offices, labs, cafe, restaurant, auditorium, exhibition halls and an advanced design centre.
The new design deals with this same challenge of creating a peaceful working and studying environment for creative facilities next to a noisy and polluted traffic artery. Distant from the city center and any practical means of transportation, accesability is guaranteed by the use of private transportation services. Which further poses the central need to create a stimulating ambiance for its 1500 personel somewhat isolated within this context.
The complex has been shaped by two monoliths seperated by a central courtyard. Block A, to the north, acts as a barrier against prevailing wind, noise and air pollution from the motorway, while block B protects from southern sun and the presence of more intensive warehouse and distribution facilites of the campus. Together they protect the island like internal courtyard within. Here,users of the centre have breaks, meet and rest. Yet, this opening gesture can only be perceived when approached from the main entrance point on Hasan Basri Street, perpendicular to the motorway.
The massive image of the blocks is deceiving: as the perforated aluminium clad elevations that wrap the complex, transform to become horizontal shaders on the internal facades overlooking the courtyard, thus creating a sharp and surprising contrast responsive to solar orientation. The corrugated section and slanted surfaces of the metal facade provide self shading for the skin which in turn gathers and disspates this excess heat over time. This visually results in a horizontal contrast between white and shadow that augment its streamlined effect materialized from context specific tensions of sun and wind.
Big atriums in each block provide natual daylight for all office floors down to the first basement. Keeping the same approach lightwells over the internal garden provide natural light to the cafeteria space below. Most of the technical equipments such as HVAC systems and electricity panels has been located over the roof because of high land values and hidden behind the mesh facade.