The existing Operation Center (OPC) for Yapi Kredi Bank dated to 1998, designed by John Mc Aslan + Partners. It is located on a steeply sloping site overlooking the Sea of Marmara near the town of Gebze which is 20 km. away from Istanbul. It was housing 2,000 staff and comprises 10 linked courtyard buildings in a campus setting.
The Yapi Kredi OPC campus was including administrative, operational, training, conference and social amenities, arranged in a series of fabric-covered internal streets. In 2008, Yapi Kredi Bank commisioned Teget Architecture new additions to the campus: A Banking Academy, An Archive-Call Center-Restaurant Building (ACCR) and a hotel first two of which cover 22.000 m2.
Teget interpreted these additions as a chance to animate (and contaminate) the cold environment of the existing campus streets: added the blocks to the three edges of the street grid; propose four new entrances to the OPC, two of which are for service; reorganize the running track, outdoor sport areas, garbage building, courier service house and technical center; propose gastronomic kiosks on the streets. By these additions surrounding the OPC social life in the streets of OPC has been changed. New routes, new daily routines, new habits emerged for the users.
As an addition, the Academy building is not simply in continuity with the conglomerate of the existing 10 cubes; but rather an abstract statement of its own using the main complex as a backdrop. It introduces a focal point to an otherwise non-hierarchical organisation via a pair of scaleless copper beams extending out to the landscape.
The program is the academy, the gate for the bank, where new comers will be educated as well as the ‘in-service’ employees. A composition of classrooms, social areas and meeting rooms. It is handled in a straight forward manner as the pair of copper bars are allocated for education whereas the central void for socializing.
It is just an other street attached to the street network of the complex; this time an oblique one. The two program beams, stemming from the complex, stretches out on the plane of a missing cube, cannot be stopped and cantelevers as topography drops. They are covered by stretched copper panels as the outer layer of the facade, stripping it off from any hint of scale. Due to the stretching process, each panel has a doublefold direction from left to right. Making use of it, the panels are checkered with rotations to create the pixelation effect. The double facade controls excessive light in the classrooms. Overall, it is opaque from outside during the day, ambiguous in twilight, transparent in the evening.
The central space is treated as an autonomous strip clearly distinguished from outside. Here, the copper peels off, and is replaced by translucent movable fabrics in institutional colors. The interior facade begins earlier and stops before the copper bars. The roof and the facade is sealed with transparent air cushions, ETFE. The void is further accentuated, pushing the feeling of vertigo, by a series of suspended social spaces and their alternative circulation made of steel and glass, filtering light to the street level. The ground, out of concrete, facilitates another level of social life, with volcanoes providing light to the conference room below, water, giant stairs leading to the canteen which turns out to be an informal odeon, and a wood deck as a lounge.
While Academy Building is stretching over topography to the northwest side, the ACCR is linking the campus mass to the hilly part of the site to the south with its stainless steel facade. ACCR may seem as a huge service block at the first sight. However its relations to the existing street grid is intricate. Where the street ends at the western side a new bridge is proposed by which people is taken to the restaurant. On the other side users can take the alternative from the upper level where Teget formed a new entrance. On the corridor, a fitness center is placed looking to a silent garden-which is the former service courtyard. ACCR has two basement floor as archive for the bank, one call center floor for 600 people and finally a restaurant floor for 2000 people with a terrace.
The addition of the ACCR and its corridors and bridges linking it to the street grid changed the life at the campus. Parralel to the increase of the population new entrances, a new restaurant, alternative social spaces formed. The daily life of the center has been enriched, diverged and varied. New relations, new routines emerged.
A hotel for the attendees of the academy will be the next and final step for the 2014 campus of the OPC for Yapi Kredi. It will be placed to the eastern edge of the streets. The tower will only house 250 rooms with around 400 beds. All the service amenities will be excluded from the program. People staying at the hotel will use the restaurant, fitness center and cafeterias of the campus. These three new blocks-attached to the existing dead ends- turned that grid of circulation into a new settlement.Location: Gebze / Kocaeli, Turkey Architect: Teget Architecture
WAF Entry: 2011