In this past decade, especially in Istanbul, there has been a rise in the number of mixed use complex buildings that has become important actors in the context of urban sociology where they create a physical and social relationship with the area they are built in. These projects, although they are highly complex due to their physical size, integrated ownership and containing quite a variety of functions which are highly transformative, have been on rise in for some time in Ankara (the capital city of Turkey) as well. Located in a recently developed district of Ankara , Kuzu Effect Mixed-use Complex includes a retail space, offices and residences. The design incorporates both vehicular and pedestrian access at ground level. An inner pedestrian street is proposed on the ground floor to create a permeable and flexible alley that connects neighboring boulevards. Hence, the boundary between inside and outside is loosened for the on-foot visitors. The project employs a simple language with strong characteristics. With the use of austere urban gestures like unexpectedly recessing and overhanging curvilinear landscaped terraces, the perception of the mass alternates depending on the relative position of the viewer from the street. This fluctuating movement also creates useful canopies that can be enjoyed in good weather. As distinct from similar mixed-use complexes in Ankara, Kuzu Effect’s open-air spaces serve as sociological niches that consolidate togetherness of different social classes. The composition of the terrace floors acts as a wide plinth that residential blocks sit above. As an important and distinguishing feature of similar privately-owned buildings, it is aimed to propose various options both for residences and the offices. Depending on criteria of height, view and size, some parts of the building have units with large terraces with landscape, galleries, and high ceiling solutions. Today, Kuzu Effect is the only mixed-use complex project that received LEED Gold Certification in Ankara. The project offers summer and winter use scenarios as sustainability was a crucial input during the design process. Retractable sky roof systems and sliding floor to ceiling glass surfaces are integrated to provide cross-ventilation in good weather conditions. In summer season, these systems blur the boundary between inside and outside as they are opened to welcome the panoramic view and the breeze.
EAA Emre Arolat Architecture was founded in May 2004 by Emre Arolat and Gonca Pasolar in Istanbul and continues its design studies at the offices in London and Istanbul with a team of more than 50 people, working on projects at various scales. In the architectural design process at EAA main decisions consider the interpretation of the context in its widest sense rather than specific visual correspondences. The architectural significance of EAA was supported by many awards, most notable ones being the Aga Khan Award in 2010 and RIBA Award for International Excellence in 2018. Emre Arolat also has a presence in the academic world with lectures, jury contributions and studio tutorage in many schools as Yale School of Architecture, Delft Berlage, NYC Pratt Institute.