Easy Being Green: Eco-Friendly Istanbul Building

erginoglu and calislar telecommunications building in istanbul

Green design is on the lips and fingertips of designers all across America, Europe and other parts of the world. But one place where it hasn’t quite caught on with such fervor is Turkey. While architects there want to maximize the profitability and usability of a building, they don’t necessarily incorporate eco-friendly features or designs into their buildings for the sake of being environmentally aware. At least one firm in the area is inching toward green designs, but probably not for the reasons you’d expect.

building layout

(image via: Designboom)

Erginoglu & Calislar recently designed a telecommunications building on the outskirts of Istanbul that turned out to be pretty eco-friendly. But firm co-founder and architect Hasan Calislar insists that the features that make the building so “green” are in place simply because they feel right and they add a positive element to the space. A big consideration in the building’s design was the fact that workers often end up staying in the building for days on end while working on a project. The architects wanted to make the structure as pleasant as possible while still encouraging productivity.

front and rear elevations

(image via: Designboom)

One of the most important factors in making the workspace a happy and healthy one was incorporating plenty of natural light. Sunlight not only keeps workers in better spirits; it cuts down on electricity costs as well. One side of the building is composed of a large bank of windows. Windows on two other sides are optimally placed to allow in even more natural light. Double-glazed windows help to keep the temperature even, and if the sun becomes too bright and glaring, adjustable shutters on the roof can be moved to block the worst of it.

side elevations

(image via: Designboom)

The architects took full advantage of the site’s natural slope rather than reshaping the area. The entrance side of the building is single-story and features a green roof that you can walk right onto. The grass-covered roof helps provide natural insulation for the building as well as a relaxing grassy break area for workers. And if you can resist the lure of the green roof and actually get into the building, the sloping, open floor plan is truly remarkable.

erginoglu and calislar telecommunications building

(image via: Designboom)

At the far end (from the entrance) the building is a full four stories high, with an airy movement that allows workers to see what’s happening all around them on all levels. To keep the building’s occupants in good spirits and good health, the building features a fitness center, dorms (for those long projects) and a movie screen over the main stairway. The architects may have set out to make this building just worker-friendly, but with several factors that contribute to both a healthy planet and healthy workers, it’s turned out Earth-friendly as well. It just goes to show that green design is somewhat intuitive; by doing what feels right for a building and its inhabitants, architects can create a livable, eco-friendly space.

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