Kreatif Architects' medical campus in Istanbul is designed to provide natural light to all parts of the building
Kreatif Architects has completed the concept design and medical planning of Koc University's Medical Sciences Campus, formed by two long rectangular blocks that are aligned on a narrow lot with the aim to connect various programmes housed within the building.
Located in Istanbul's Topkapi district and designed in collaboration with Cannon Design, the project is based on the idea of creating a flexible spatial organisation that responds to any future changes or requirements, all while encouraging the integration of the various disciplines offered by the university to provide a more wholesome medical education.
Academic education and professional application functions of the building have been specifically positioned to mutually support each other. The campus consists of a medical faculty with research and training programs, a university hospital with a capacity of 440 inpatients, a nurse school, an advanced simulation centre, high-security research labs, dormitories, social facilities and a sports halls.
Accordingly, the design is shaped to create visual and physical connections between the research, training and the hospital blocks.
The architectural language is formed by "abstracted contemporary forms and materials", referencing another Koc Univeristy campus that is located in a more remote area of the city. Various forms and materials such as the large eaves and stylised bay windows on the south wing of the building are inspired by traditional Turkish architecture.
The building is formed mainly by two rectangular blocks that are aligned on a narrow lot. The southern wing is designed to be on a lower level and set at a distance from the other block using a smooth curve that allows in more natural light to reach the atrium and the north wing of the building.
The opening between the two wings creates the entrance to the hospital, with terrace located above the main entrance, offering a peaceful and secluded public space for patients, doctors, students and visitors alike.
Spaces within the mezzanine and basement floors also have access to more daylight due to the atrium as well as the skylights that are set within these open spaces.
The first phase of the project constitutes the medical school and the hospital at the front side of the complex. The second phase includes the nurse school and future extensions such as the dormitories, techno-park and social facilities which are located on the north-west side.
"Due to the sudden changes in the legal building regulations that occurred during the construction, the blocks in the second stage could not be built at the same height with the first-stage-blocks, as it had been previously planned. Therefore, the spatial design was revised due to the some of the cancelled functional programs proposed for the second stage," Kreatif Architects explained.
Spaces such as classrooms, labs, patient and intensive care rooms, and supporting functions such as cafeteria, dining room and offices are all either linked to an atrium in between the blocks or are visually connected to the sunken gardens. Due to the spatial organisation, all the spaces in the building, particularly those on the ground level, are able to benefit from the natural light, regardless of how further deep they are located from the exterior facades.
"One of the main challenges of the project was separating the hospital’s circulation routes from other units," Kreatif Architects said. "Different user profiles such as patients, students, academicians and visitors can encounter each other only at specific designated points to maintain the high hygienic standards. Service roads surrounding the campus and basement floors are reserved for other circulation scenarios including the emergency access, delivery of goods and waste extraction.
"The main principle of the design was to exclude items and decisions that could raise the cost of construction and maintenance. That is why long-lasting, easy-to-clean and low-maintenance materials and details were preferred throughout the complex. The design also avoids luxury to create a peaceful and unobtrusive architecture that would become a neutral but comfortable context for both patients, students and employees whose lives focus on recovery, education and research," the architects added.