Barika Sokak 32
Teardown in Topçular

Office  Tornavida Design Type  New Construction · Infill Role  Concept Size  900 m² Location  Topçular, Istanbul Year  2017

The street on which this building sits is a mix of terraced houses, apartment blocks, and light industry. Height restrictions do not allow its volume to be increased beyond that of an existing, unsalvageable building, so the pervasive "flat for land" (kat karşılığı) basis by which most teardowns in Istanbul are accomplished is not an option.To make the investment attractive and economically lucrative for the condominium's shareholders, substantive value with respect to the interior arrangement, the proportions of individual rooms, and the overall quality of life that the building offers must be demonstrated – not to mention the resale value of the units.
Front façade. The design takes advantage of the setback from the street to give light and air to the basement apartments. The entrance is accessible via a low bridge over two small victory gardens at the level of these units.
Typical floor plan.
Open kitchens substantially free up the interior planning, though this typology is not preferred among many demographics in Turkey. Accordingly, the kitchen is tucked to the side of a substantial brick column, and the countertop is designed as a niche in a seamless wall of casework, downplaying its utilitarian function. A built-in dining table further separates the kitchen from the living room. Since much of Turkish cooking is done while sitting, this table doubles as an additional preparation area, complementing the traditionally social nature of food preparation. When desired, suspended panels concealed within the brick column may be drawn to screen the kitchen from the living room altogether.
The brick panels that comprise the front and rear façades are not exterior walls per se; rather, they correspond to freestanding elements of the interior. The logic and hierarchy of the apartments is indicated through the various setbacks of the horizontal floor plates and the vertical brick planes.

Dormitory-style guest bedrooms located in the attic are owned cooperatively by all the building's tenants, as are the roof terraces.
The current building.
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