Alp Architects & Planners Ltd design 'more than just a city hall'
Malatya's new City Hall is planned on a 60,000-sq-m plot of land facing two main boulevards. Its spatial organisation is the outcome of a delicate collision of geometries and styles. The 28,000-sq-m enclosed space building is made of three main parts:
The avant-garde design of the ten-floor, 20,000-sq-m main block is conceived as a double-skin elliptical form with a full-height central atrium space. The office spaces at both sides are described as elliptical arcs. The five-floor, 5,000-sq-m, circular mayoral block is positioned towards the front plaza and the main road. It intersects with and merges into the elliptical block. Consequently, it looks both onto the external plaza and the internal atrium. Its style is a reinterpretation of the Turkish-Islamic traditional architecture that collides with the high-tech style of the rest. Attached to the mayoral block are the spiral-shaped city council room and the multifunctional hall below, which open respectively to the upper and lower ground levels at the atrium. The building works as one ‘total space'.
Approaching from the street one perceives the whole depth of the structure through the transparent central atrium. The rampway leading to the main entrance transverses the structure to continue up to the other end of the land as a spine about which the masterplan and the building develop. The climate-controlled internal court of the elliptical block serves as ‘citizens meeting point' and a theatrical arena with social gatherings, exhibitions, conferences, concerts and cultural events. The internal circular terrace of the mayoral block giving towards the atrium serve as a podium for speeches and performances, The City Hall is conceived as a socialising platform, a public and cultural space and embodies high symbolic and representative values.
The hall is expected to bring the City administration and the citizens together. Its spatial organisation is dynamic and transparent instead of isolated offices and departments at various levels. Entering the atrium one perceives almost every corner on every level of the City Hall. The continuity of space is highly emphasised throughout the complex.
The atrium floor is finished with cubic stone blocks similar to the traditional street pavements. With trees and social functions inside, the atrium plaza is conceived to be the ‘Square of the City'. The open steel stairways at both sides of the atrium and the steel bridges spanning the atrium use the orange and the green coloors borrowed form the apricot fruit and its leaves. The same colours have also been used for the logo of the City since Malatya is the number one producer and exporter of apricot worldwide.
The architects says of the project: "Malatya's City Hall is more than a City Hall: It is a social milieu, a meeting point, a cultural centre."