Halkapınar Tekel Campus

275000 m2

Founded in the 1910s by the French and changed into Tekel (Monopoly) Administration with the Republic, the compound was used for the production of beer, wine, and rakı. When it was put on sale by the privatization administration, it became an attractive venue for investors. As usual, the zoning status here is extremely high in density, even more exaggerated with the debates over constructible area ratio. Understandable on a vacant plot, this phenomenon is completely incomprehensible in an area with the industrial heritage of the 1910s. The only understandable aspect of it is that these buildings carry no significance for the decision-makers. So, when it was brought to us, our first resolution was to introduce no additional buildings except auxiliary ones to the existing buildings we believe should be preserved along with their immediate surroundings and relations to one another. We took the road traversing the property in the north-south direction stretched almost geometrically across the middle as the insurmountable border and reserved the eastern part, which would seemingly be filled with tall buildings based on the zoning status, to intense buildings. For the western section that accommodates the old buildings, we decided to use as few supplementary buildings as possible without exceeding the current building heights. While we took some of the buildings underground as part of this decision, we agreed to a 65-floor building, as we found out that there was going to be a 75-floor building in the property immediately next to ours. As we were researching the conditions of creating a high-rise for this climate and focusing on restoring and renovating the existing buildings to be treated as industry archaeology, we obtained the necessary permissions from local governments and the protection board. Just as we were about to get our construction license and move to the construction drawings, our client and project administration took the project and gave the job to an office that we had been using as consultants for the laws and building regulations of Izmir. Hence, for us, the subject remained an exercise in industrial heritage, construction privileges, and climate-related characteristics of high-rises. As we were given no information by the client, project team, and the project office in the ensuing stages, we have no idea what will be built. Since our name is mentioned as the concept project authors in the pamphlet, we asked the project administration to see the final stage of the project and were told, “the client has a strict non-disclosure rule on that.” Two days later, we came across a news piece about the project’s launch with a weird group of people including the client, executives, the new architecture group, Bulent Ersoy and Ivana Sert.