Borusan Parkorman Expedition Center
Istanbul / Turkey
Architectural Project & Design:
Gokhan Avcioglu & GAD
Public, Interiors, Leisure
Project Site Area:
2003 Bronze Medal for the Borusan Exhibition Center, Miami Biennale
The masterplan aimed bringing together the different bars, restaurants and showrooms in Istanbul who intend to join the project. Borusan Automotive company was one of these companies to rent out a plot for the purpose of building a BMW Expedition Center for educational and training purposes for its staff and its visitors. This building would highlight the innovative image of the company. The plot is sloped and covered by century old pine trees. The building is positioned as if it has been slotted within the inclination of the site. The position of the pine trees was undisputedly a major factor for shaping the building, ‘’a bit to the right and to the left that’s it...’’ says Gokhan Avcioglu. Could a form of a building can be shaped so easily?....’’yes’’ says Avcioglu. The positioning of the ramp access on to the first floor’s terrace was again shaped by the position of the pine trees. Consequently, the ramp had to crawl in between the tree trunks until it reached to the upper terrace. Such site conditions were what Avcioglu was looking for. A building that would shape itself with the help of given conditions of the site.
During the construction period decisions had to be made rapidly because of a tight deadline forseen for the construction process. The BMW Expedition Center was completed in just 45 days.
We perceived a building where the glazing would face different angles of the site with different viewing angles that would consequently adapt itself to the condition and topography of the site like a chameleon. During the construction period some parts of the building were re-designed, for example at one particular point the building had to submerge itself into the ground not to damage the roots of the trees. The choice of materials was a secondary step for shaping the building. Strong, durable and rough materials were chosen. The structure was constructed from steel. The rusted sheet metal cladding on the exterior facades was chosen to give the impression of an aged structure, like a ship left abandoned for years in a shipyard.