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38 PROJECT REPORT: TRANSPORT FACILITIES & PUBLIC REALM


typologies such as hammams. Andrew Thomas: “From our walks around the city and the imagery we used for inspiration in researching the project, the mosques had an incredible drama of light, within what are generally quite solid, heavy buildings – seeing that light how it plays across the floor was a strong reference point.” “We didn’t want a literal interpretation of a Mosque, but to use their qualities – such as how light filters through clerestory windows,” says Tomas. However, he adds that the design inspiration “was as much about the markets of Istanbul – the patterns and colour, and the feeling you get as you walk through the streets and vistas appear.” Haptic, Nordic and Grimshaw, have all designed projects across the globe with sensitivity to the cultural context at their core. As Andrew says, “wherever any of us have worked you can see there’s a deep intention to try and read, understand and represent the place.”


Streams of light & natural wayfinding The building’s colossal vaulted roof is the main design feature – constructed of repeating modular steel forms – and the one which most conspicuously echoes the traditional architecture of Istanbul. The soffit is formed of steel ribs which allows what Stokke describes as “streams of light” to permeate down to the airport’s floor – from regularly placed circular rings of rooflights above, as well as points where the ribs cross. He says this was a “key concept from early on in the design,” and says proudly that it has “translated incredibly well into the final result.”


At Istanbul, arriving passengers have an invigorating, much more visually-connected welcome than is common


Cultural inspiration This was a project with national importance, and as such the design would reference Turkish cultural traditions, and more specifically the famous architecture of Istanbul itself, however not in a slavish way. Members of the design teams spent a good amount of time in the city, “studying everything from the contemporary aspects to the amazing Mosques,” says Tomas Stokke. As a result, while the team was concerned to avoid pastiche at all costs, they wanted to bring some of the sense of the city to its new airport terminal. This naturally meant emulating some of the forms of Istanbul’s historic religious buildings, but also the experience of their interiors, as well as other


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The key benefit for passengers of the rooflights is that the very deep-planned 750 m wide x 380 m deep structure building is broken up and enlivened. This is also achieved by the columns and the double barrel-vault form of the ceiling, which form bays with regularly spaced rooflights. These also have the important benefit of helping guide passengers through the building.


“The barrel vault running in both directions really helps with orientation,” says Stokke. Major functions such as the check-in ‘island’ have been placed so they are framed by the vault above, to exploit the natural wayfinding fostered by the structure, as Stokke explains: “The main lines of movement sit within the vaults, including the retail elements. It reinforces the natural movement through the airport.” He cites one example of the success of this,


ADF OCTOBER 2019


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