Giving the factory a fresh twist

Nick Myall
03 Jan 2017

This factory in central Turkey has an additional role as a visitor centre

The Farm of 38° 30° is an iconic dairy factory which derives its name from the coordinates of the site it is located in, the “38° 30° Valley of Art” in the village of Afyon Tazlar, in the province of Afyonkarahisar in Central Turkey. Designed by Slash Architects & Arkizon Architects and located at the entrance of the valley, this dairy factory offers degustation for visitors, all the while exhibiting the production process of the dairy products of the farm.

While ensuring the maximum efficiency of it's core role as a production line, the 'boutique factory' also adopts a striking contemporary look via its built form. The building wraps around an inner green courtyard and opens itself to the exterior via its large welcoming canopy. It takes on the status of a simple production space and also that of a cheese showroom and museum.

The building wraps the linear production process and spaces in an ellipse enclosing an inner courtyard. From this courtyard all the sequences of production can be observed in 360° degrees by the visitors. The transparency of the façade lets visitors view all the production spaces.

Interrupting the closed ellipse, the building entrance is open to the exterior and invites visitors into the inner courtyard. The sheltered entrance orients the visitors to either the main sales department or the green courtyard, where cocktails and events are organised.

The main entrance’s canopy is part of a large concrete slab roof that is formed from the geometric position of the elliptical building itself. The roof is at its maximum height over the entrance spaces, and gradually lowers to reach its minimum height over spaces such as cold storage rooms, therefore optimising the volume under it and increasing efficiency of insulation, temperature and air control in the building.

The entrance is fully open, followed by the sales office and the production spaces of the factory, both of which are very transparent. Moving on to more private spaces, the composition of the materials on the façade gradually offers less transparency. Corten steel sun blinds render the last spaces, used by staff, semi-transparent. The external façade of the building is enriched by vertical slices opening to the surrounding countryside, all the while allowing controlled natural light to enter the building according to each specific room’s requirements.

The dairy factory engages with the surrounding nature through its use of natural materials and natural tones. Weaving the green environment and landscape towards the inner courtyard, the building creates a cozy environment with various activities for both its visitors and staff.

The use of local materials such as natural Afyon stone is enriched by the addition of Corten steel in the detailing, emphasizing the contemporary industrial identity of the building. The exposed concrete, natural stone, transparent glass and the Corten details combined onto the elliptical form of the building reveal a contemporary attitude anchored to its site and location.

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