Movie: in our final exclusive interview from Inside Festival, Emre Açar of Alatas Architecture & Consulting explains how the Turkish studio converted a dark, narrow nineteenth-century house in Istanbul into a light office space.
Dardanel Administration Building by Alatas Architecture & Consulting, which won the creative re-use category at last month's Inside Festival, provides office space for Turkish tinned tuna company Dardanel's 25-person administrative team.
The building required significant structural reinforcement to make it earthquake-resistant, but Açar says the key to the success of the project was getting enough daylight inside it.
"The [original] windows were so small and the central parts [of the building] were completely dark because of these small windows," he explains. "We needed to find some solutions to create lighter spaces."
Alatas Architecture & Consulting chose to preserve the nineteenth-century wooden front of the house, but added a second set of glass doors to the entrance to allow light into the building while keeping the elements out.
"The main entrance doors, these historical wooden doors, are always open," Açar says. "We have [added] two double glass doors to give us some connection from [to outside to] the interior ."
The back of the building was altered much more dramatically, with the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass-roofed extension, which houses the main meeting room. Glass panels in the floor of this room in turn allow daylight to pass into the server room below.
"We made the top part of the building completely from glass," Açar says. "With this glass roof we tried to provide lighter spaces inside."
The architects also added a completely new spiral staircase and elevator shaft made of glass through the middle of the building, which dissipates light from a skylight above it.
To make the building feel less narrow, Alatas Architecture & Consulting added mirrors to the bright white interior walls.
"The building's width is just 5 metres," Açar says. "It was like a tunnel. We wanted to make [the building seem] like it continues on the other side, so we used reflective materials. The workers feel like they are in a bigger building."
This movie was filmed at Inside Festival 2013, which took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 2 to 4 October. The next Inside Festival will take place at the same venue from 1 to 3 October 2014. Award entries are open February to June 2014.