BMW Expedition Center
The Fatih forest in Maslak, Istanbul has always been allocated for use by citizens living within the premises of the city. Also known as Parkorman, the forest was rented by the local municipality to be used for recreational venues.
The concept for the Parkorman master plan, designed by GAD architects, was to create an idealized recreational venue that could host approximately 2000 visitors.
The master plan proposes to rent out plots to different Istanbul businesses, to unite and offer services in a common area. During the day the site will be used for various sports activities and in the evenings the plan proposes to gather people for concerts and special events.
Borusan Automotive was one of the first companies to rent a plot for the BMW Expedition Center. The Center includes an educational and training facility for its staff and a showroom for visitors.
The building is situated on a sloping site covered with century old pine trees. The position of the pine trees was a major factor in the design of the building and the ramp that provides access to the terrace on the first floor. The ramp slopes upwards between the tree trunks to reach the upper terrace.
Glazed walls adapt the building to the conditions and topography of the site. The main frame is steel with a rusted metal cladding on the exterior to give the impression of an aged structure; like a ship left unused in a shipyard. The materials were selected for their strength and durability.
Because of a tight deadline design decision had to be taken rapidly during the construction. At one point the architects had to decided to bury parts of the building in the ground not to damage the roots of the trees.
The construction of the Center was completed in 45 days.