Turkish architect’s design-winning residential project is based on the ‘soft loft’ concept
Located in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey is the Loft Gardens project, winner of 2011 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International award for architectural excellence.
Designed by Tabanlioglu Architects of Turkey, Loft Gardens is a 21-storey mid-rise transparent residential building comprising 82 loft apartments with different floor plans, nature friendly with its vertical gardens designed as private walkout terraces, balconies, and garden patios.
The apartments vary in sizes ranging from 72 sq m to 268 sq m, the larger ones being eight duplexes with a private terrace or garden.
All apartments have a large wall of floor-to-ceiling, one-piece, energy-efficient windows opening to panoramic views of the Bosporus view and the city; and a wealth of natural light creates more commodious and ambient spaces.
“Following the success of the Levent Loft residential, a transformation project on the main axis of Central Business District of Istanbul, the client bought the site behind and asked for another apartment building,” says Melkan Gursel Tabanlioglu, partner and architect, Tabanlioglu Architects.
Loft Gardens is designed in the concept of ‘soft loft’ as a complementary block.
The mid-rise transparent residence block, with its vertical gardens, emerges at the back end of Levent Loft – a narrow horizontal structure – to create another cohesive and lively alcove.
“The Loft Gardens takes the Miesian tower model and subtly humanises it by manipulating its pure shape into a modulating inhabited form,” says a spokesman for RIBA.
He continues: “High-rise garden patios are then inserted into the façade as a counterpoint to the protruding bay windows and deepen the play of solid and void within the façade. Plan and section are organised to create a range of apartment types of great spatial variety, some horizontal based around patios, others vertical around double-height spaces. “Internally the designers display an unabashed passion for the aesthetic of the industrial loft with their exposed services and structure and with their use of concrete, steel and timber. The Loft Gardens are an extreme demonstration of elegance and restraint within a subtly modified typology.”
Tabanlioglu says: “Every house needs a good architect, what is more important is its users, who bring energy and spirit to the space. As relationships are central to our existence, yet one of the most difficult areas of human life, we always start a project with the rendering of who would live here and what would be the lifestyle.
“Flexible space formations encourage contemporary demands, and grant the user the opportunity to shape their homes uniquely to express their lifestyle.
Starting with the facade that opens to the city, to the sky, daylight, sun, moon and infinity, the apartments are designed as spacious houses with their high ceilings.”
In 1990, architect Murat Tabanlioglu established Tabanlıoglu Architects in collaboration with Dr Hayati Tabanlioglu, in Istanbul. Architect Melkan Gursel Tabanlioglu joined the group in 1995. Ozdem Gursel is the third partner responsible of the management of the company, consisting of 100 personnel, operating predominantly in Turkey. With more than 50 years of experience, Tabanlioglu works comprise a wide range of building types including innovative mixed-use projects. Searching for new efficiencies in terms of global and environmental needs and developments, Tabanlioglu has been awarded several national and international prizes.