How to Build a Mansion When the Law Prohibits It
What do you do when the outdated building codes of an ancient port town restrict the size of new developments to a mere 75 square meters (807 sq ft)? You ‘explode’ the house. To circumvent this antiquated code, GAD (Global Architectural Developemnt) built several ‘units’ and connected them with glass atria (which is the plural of atrium, who knew!). Each ‘unit’ served a different function; one was the master bedroom and bath, another was a kitchen/dining room, there was a guest area etc.
THE EXPLODED HOUSE BY GAD
- The central glass vestibule acts as the entrance to the building as well as the main living area with a 180-degree view of the stunning landscape and bay made possible by floor to ceiling windows
- Operated electronically, the windows have the capacity to slide open flush to the ground, allowing for sea breezes to flood the interior
- This innermost space is the focal point of the house and is connected to the three houses by a series of concrete ramps that reconcile the building with the landscape
- An additional slope that can be used as a sun deck and for light recreational activities descends to the swimming pool located at a slightly lower grade from the house
- From here the ramp leads down the hillside to an additional self-contained apartment building that is set within the land and hidden from the house above.
The Exploded House reinterprets traditional dwellings in the area, yet its angular structure that fits into the clefts in the hillside, remains in keeping with the natural environment and when seen from above the pools mirror the surrounding landscape and the endless vista of the bay and help mask the presence of the building on the hill.
- The open-plan of the main house ensures that it is light and airy, a must in the summer where temperatures are typically in the 30s (90 F) with long sunny spells that are hot and humid
- As a secondary precaution, the roof of the building is covered with pools that collect rainwater
- The water cascades from the roof of one of the buildings to the other and is then circulated back round, creating a natural cooling system for a hot climate
In theory, I love this concept; however collecting a massive amount of water on a relatively flat roof must put tremendous pressure on the building. Should there ever be a leak or issue, it could spell disaster for the interior of the home and the precious antiques within.
- Apparently the owner has a vast antique collection which consist of Hellenistic, Byzantine and Ottoman times
- Typically there is always a problem for collectors’ houses, it tends to turn into a museum
- Additionally, conditions like the climate, daylight/artificial light and security become more dominant than the daily life of the owner
- Interior designer Hakan Ezer successfully achieved to integrate these valuable collection pieces to the daily life without losing the functionality and sense of a home
- Istanbul and New York based Global Architectural Development has performed architecture practice, research and concept design since 1994. The partners are Gokhan Avcioglu and Ozlem Ercil
- GAD Architecture is committed to finding innovative approaches to architecture and creating new spatial experiences with projects and ideas
- They have won numerous awards including: the 1997 Turkish Architecture Prize for the design of a Public Park in Istanbul, the 2001 Cimsa Design Prize for outdoor seating, a bronze medal in the Miami Biennale for the Borusan Exhibition Center in 2003, and the Esma Sultan Venue place in 2001 was short listed for Aga Khan Award for Architecture
- The firm’s projects have been exhibited at numerous venues internationally, including: the Galerist gallery in Istanbul, the Minima Art in Philadelphia, the Miami Biennale in December 2003, the Architectural Museum in Rotterdam in 2004 and the Royal Academy of Art in London in 2005
- Bodrum is a Mediterranean port-trade settlement in the Southwest of Turkey. It is located on the southern coast of the Bodrum Peninsula, and faces the Greek island of Kos
- Today, it is an international center of tourism and yachting
- The area boasts a rich history of over five thousand years, including Hellenistic times. The venerated scientist Heredot was born there and sculptures by artists including Leochares, Bryaxis, and Timotheos were exhibited there and can now be found in museum collections around the world
Architects :: Gokhan Avcioglu / GAD
Location :: Bodrum, Turkey
Interior Design :: Hakan Ezer
Site Area:: 5,000 sq meters
Project Area :: 600 sq meters
Project Year :: 2003
Photographs :: Ali Bekman, Ozlem Avcioglu
If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: An Ocean of Emotion: The View from Otter Cove [Carmel, California]