Presidential Library for Obama


Here is Building Office’s winning entry for Obama’s Presidential Library (for alternative ideas, competition by Chicago Architecture Club). It has been a very busy month so the online presence for this project is pretty limited on our side.  The project is about stacking 8 years of Obama Presidency on 8 floors, with a space for discussions on the ground floor – transparent to public. This space is penetrated with the presence of a public bridge.

Guggenheim Helsinki

VIEW FROM SOUTH EAST / image courtesy of Building Office © 2014

The common belief is, the curator and the artist are both happier when the architect is less involved with the gallery space in the museum. What is the role of the architect in the contemporary art museum in this case? Designing a fancy hat for the white box? Or scripting the sequence such a way that museum starts to do something more than just being a beautiful sculpture.


We proposed to redefine the site of Guggenheim Helsinki by a 3 x 3m units, as an empty canvas.

The focal point that welcomes the visitors would be the round gallery.The round gallery is wrapped by a spiral walkway that connects two levels of the museum. The walkway surrounds four galleries making a loop connection.


The grid is where the art is attached, removed constantly during the year. Therefore is permanent, is the infrastructure. Indeterminate grid four major galleries. Entrances to these galleries are never from the ground level. The entry moments are suggested to be a variety of experiences. In the round gallery, user enters the space from the mid-level, in the cubes, one gallery is to be entered from the door aligned to the ceiling, the other is from the corner while the final, wider gallery is to be experienced by entering from the opening at the floor plate.



Only technical equipment, collections are to be carried into the gallery spaces from the ground level openings using trucks. The ground level already is occupied – dominated by the traffic from the Helsinki port and is unpleasant because of the presence of the highway next to it. The perimeter of the building is effected by the cold climate most of the year therefore is not considered as the main focus of the design. The building is enhancing the inwards experience of the space: the great courtyards of art.

Taller or more Visible?

The height of their skyscraper is very important for many investors. Architects often argue the quality of the spaces is more important than how tall it is. In the special case of Istanbul, the strong topographical characteristic adds more interesting parameters to the choice of the site for the skyscraper that is often ignored by the investors.

The easy competition is to compare your skyscraper’s height with the heights of European skyscrapers since there is not much of a super tall skyscraper in Europe.

If you are building the tallest skyscraper of Europe in +10m to sea level, your skyscraper is likely to disappear behind the hills of Istanbul when it is complete.

The priority for the investor for the building is likely to be the visibility of the building and what you can see from the highest point when you are in the building.

The smarter approach would be to value the highest points in the modern district of Istanbul, Sisli where most of the new skyscrapers are located.

Therefore we have mapped the highest points in the Sisli district:

Cezmi Or Residence


This is a test for preparing an animation for the project we are currently working on. As you can see we are not experts on animation making as Building Office but with the collaboration with producer Meltem Oznalci and moving to Los Angeles, you will see remarkable improvements in our moving images soon.

Şişli book, New Draft

The long-term book project of our office, Sisli book is coming to a shape yet it’s still a draft. The modern Istanbul guide based on a newly proposed one kilometer grid system is searching for a modern city planning on a strong topography like Istanbul.

We are also questioning blindly acceptance of the skyscraper as stacked floors of a tall building just like an American flat city in Istanbul when it dramatically keeps failing.

Twelve proposals of our office highlights the key moments in Sisli, in search for a system – sometimes unbuildable – to tackle the issues such the desire of having a great public square, Americanising the silhouette of the city while keeping the traditional character.

Şişli book is in Turkish however the same projects with their thesis will take place in the “Building” book to be published around 2016 in English.

La Primavera Evi


Ağustos sonunda olan yarışma teslimi sonrası başladığım ev Kuzey Amerika’da: Venice Beach, Los Angeles’da yer alıyor. Üçü yer altında, üç yer üstünde olmak üzere altı kattan oluşan bu villada tam okyanus kıyısında, var olan iki evin yerine inşa edilecek. Henüz Aris ile konuşmamış olsak da bu projeyle ilgili, iskelet hakkında da şu aşamada bir fikir geliştirmeye çalışıyorum.

Ev giriş katında, yer altına ve yer üstüne olmak üzere iki farklı dolaşım seçeneği sunuyor.

Çatı katında havuz olarak tanımlamanın biraz abartılı olacağı bir konfor alanı var. Bu alan büyük banyo ve ebeveyn odalarına bağlanıyor. Programı evin tepesinden başlayarak açıklamamın sebebi mühendislik olarak da yukarı katlardan başlayan bir sistem olabileceğini düşünüyor olmam. Yani büyük bir T harfi gibi şematik olarak düşünebiliriz binayı. Giriş katı seviyesinde düzensiz gözüken merdiveni içerisinde barındıran dikdörtgen prizma ve ikinci katta dışa doğru açılan prizmaları inşa edebilmek icin en üst katta düzenli bir kolon kiriş sistemine sahip olmak avantajlı olabilir. Şimdilik 150x300mm profilinde çelik bir iskelet binayı oluşturacak diye düşünüyorum.




Architect, OMA