CM Architecture has completed the new IBTECH IT Center at the Marmara Research Center in Kocaeli, Turkey. The first thing that caught the design team's attention and as well as one of the major design criterias was the landscape which leaned towards the green belt and the bay on the southern horizon with a 10% slope. Another design criteria was the need to divide the construction process into two stages. At the beginning of the design process, both the requirement program and the work schedule included a two staged construction period.
Primarily, the larger part was to be designed and built while the second part's construction was to begin only after the first stage was completed. This way of planning required projects for both the separate stages of the construction as well as for the unified outcome. There were two major difficulties concerning this scenario.
The first problem was the need to isolate the construction of the second stage from the already finished and operating first part. After that, the proper integration of the two parts in a way that no stitches can be recognised created the other big difficulty of the project. The above mentioned circumstances led CM Architecture to the idea of disintegrating the building into three parts. After the integration of the first two included in the first stage of the construction, the third one could be integrated with the blocks A and B in the latter stage of the construction using the same method as in the first stage.
The main entrance which is connected to the road level with a bridge is designed as a separate steel construction unit between the blocks A and B. This separate unit provides a much easier orientation to the visitors and the working personnel. On the other hand, the secondary building entrance and the entrance to the parking garage are located at the southern facade of block C which is settled on the lower level of the parcel.
The connections between the three blocks are provided with three single- and one double-decked steel bridges; four in total, whose lengths vary between 14m and 17m depending on the need of horizontal circulation. The building blocks create an open courtyard between them which faces the landscape on the southeast. The courtyard mainly serves as a recreational space which is in close relationship with other spaces like the cafeteria, fitness room, swimming pool and the dining hall also located on the ground level.
After the excavation and construction, a ground restoration with the aim to preserve the natural 10% slope was carried out. The aluminium facade system, the partial roof slope, window openings and main contours of the facades are all referenced to this natural slope on the terrain. In order to lighten the mass of the blocks, terraces for the use of the offices are created by pulling back certain floors on the endings facing the landscape.
The cafe located on the block B is connected to the natural terrain with stairs descending through a void on its ground. Just like the open courtyard and the relations it creates between several parts of the building, through the use of open terraces and connections with the terrain, the team wanted the building to have strong interactions with the environment it is located in.
The entrance facade and the northern facade are designed clearly more massive than the other facades creating a strong contrast. The southwestern facade on the other hand, has a unique character on its own because of the need deriving from the functions located on that side of the building. Here, a more controlled glass facade with a dotted texture is chosen in order to filter the effects of the sunlight to a certain extent.
The horizontal circulation of the offices designed at the facades facing the courtyard, together with the bridges connecting the three different blocks are the main elements of the circulation scheme clearly of vital importance in a building consisting of three different parts though operating as a single enterprise. The plans to divide the construction into two stages were abandoned after the start of the process and all the blocks were simultaneously constructed as single complex.