Sungu Apartments
Sungu Apartments – Cihangir, Istanbul Sungu Apartments is a 24-unit condominium building located in Cihangir a very hip neighborhood in city center Istanbul. It is a conversion project from a 70’s office block to rented living units minimal in size but with all the facilities the modern urban life requires. The interesting fact about the project was the fact that the 70’ office building that was the base for the project was already a converted and enlarged housing block. It consisted of two blocks built at different times. A 50’s-60’s apartment block and a later added 70’s office block that surrounded the former and transformed it to an office building. As a result of the former converted nature of the blocks the office units consisted from many dark rooms and spaces. The first design idea that was applied to the project was to open all the new spaces to light. Since the block is relatively large footprint row house (approximately 450sqm/ each floor) and with only two facades, all new walls of the four units located on each floor were arranged unidirectionally and perpendicular to the facades so that every living space in the block could use the natural lighting. Wet spaces (bathrooms and kitchens) in the block were planned around the four existing inner courtyard voids which were also used as technical shafts for all electro-mechanical installations as well as for natural ventilation. Since the building is used as a condominium wit all units for rent, maintenance was an important concern; therefore all installations electrical and mechanical were left exposed inside those courtyards. One of the units on the lower ground floor is arranged as a gym for the residents and also gives access to the communal garden through a corridor. The garden can be used by the residents for all kinds of events. One of the main features of the Sungu Apartments project is the architectural arrangement of the street facade. The strip-windows unifies the facade characteristic and provide maximum use of daylight while the sliding-folding wooden shutters which were constructed unusually with horizontal louvers provide privacy from the relatively narrow street without blocking much light since its a due north facade. The shutters were also designed to give the relatively large facade a sense of space in relation to its historical context. The artistic ironwork that covers the facade of the lower two floors provide security while forming a base for the building at the same time. Since this this kind of city center residential developments is quite new to Istanbul, It would not be exaggerated to say that Sungu Apartments set some new social living standards; and with its architectural qualities it already become a landmark in the area.


14 photos and 3 drawings

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