Sokak (35th Street) is a housing complex of 2000 people population settled down on a hilly site in Ulukent neighborhood, close to the center of Izmir. Izmir is the third biggest city in Turkey located on a bay of Aegean Sea. The city is expanding through northern direction and the site is located just next to the main highway and railway following that (growth?) axis. The highway is a track where the flat topography starts to hilling andalso an edge between the rural and urban zones as like classical urban settlements in history. The site is sharply sloping at the built side of the highway. The elevation difference reaches to 60 meters between the lowest and highest points on the site.
The building looking over the plain and Aegean Sea is climbing that slope on the most functional track in terms of the architectural standards for sloping ways and fitting most possible house quantity etc., making a self-determinatedfigure, free of the site boundaries. This boundary-free situation lets the complex to integrate with its environment now and in the future.It is a settlement strategy letting private (housing) spaces embrace social life on a 2 km long pedestrian street.All the private and public spaces, service ways and infrastructure lines are on one stripe.So it lets the green lay between those folds and surrounds the stripe without interruption. 6 types of houses propagate on both sides of the curving stripe, producing so many variable facades in terms of direction, height and length and diverse combinations of street level and garden level houses.
Basically, we make advantage out of this dynamic topography by following it, none of the streets or patiosrepeat each other by having various relations with the earth and scenery since it has to follow the topography’s rules which don’t repeat itself anyways. There are three entrances to the building through the underground car park just underneath the pedestrian street where the townhouses are lined up on. The car park is an underground tunnel lying below the snake-like shaped street above ground, serving as the main road of the site and making the optimum park place distance to the houses. Connection to the pedestrian street, houses and the green park surrounding the building is provided by regularly distributed stations between the houses.
The construction system of the building is a hybrid of light gauge steel and concrete. The employer is the largest light gauge steel system producer in Turkey. The light gauge steel houses are emerging on the concrete base consisting the tunnel drive and pedestrian way. The budget is limited and the intended client is middle class population for this housing.Avoiding any huge consoles or openings, the façade system has been kept quiet simple suiting with the structural system and concept of the project. Sweeping the typical section consisting of all the building’s elements (tunnel drive& car park, pedestrian street, street and garden level house types, circulation stations) on the most convenient topography track generates an autonomous figure opening to the plain. What makes this figure unique is that it follows its place’s origins and suggests a social settlement that cannot be copied.Location: Izmir, Turkey
Architect: Teget Architecture
Award: World Architecture Festival 2011 – Shortlisted