Kurtul Erkmen | impressions


World Architecture Festival 2018 | Prominent features of the project

The subject is the design of a group of buildings belonging to Kumport Port Services and Logistics Industry Trade Co. with a total of 6.000 square meters while rethinking the port and facilities. Headquarters building, maintenance facilities and workshops and storage areas determine the main components of the design.

The project has a story. The design includes a ‘one-off’ solution for location and work. External mass, interior space solutions and details always shape around the main idea of ‘two ships loaded with containers’.

The main visual characteristic of functions such as entry and exit of goods, is a space filled with containers. The visual effect and strong image, created by these storage boxes that are various in color but repetitive in a certain size and form, are especially highlighted in the headquarters building. The idea of two ships boarding each other, determines the planning principles of the concept. Thus, two office spaces that are split between two separate but alike masses are connected with bridges on each floor.

The building has been designed in steel and glass. This way, indoor and outdoor relations have been taken to a higher level and every square meter of the building is washed with natural light and air. Elements that have to be excluded from the building’s steel frame structure such as elevators, fire escapes and restrooms are bare concrete. The same design principle is followed with natural wood and ropes for indoors. The same brutalist approach shows itself with mechanical and electrical solutions as well by avoiding Gypsumboard suspended ceiling to display bare steel construction.

The entrance is between two blocks that have been separated from each other with an angle and movement horizontally. The concrete ramp that allows the approach to the building over the pool at the entrance, makes reference to getting into a boat. A cafeteria is located on the basement floor that has an open front and natural lighting because of the sloping land. In addition to close spaces completed with fitness, changing rooms, showers and technical spaces, the open inner courtyard next to the building allows for the establishment of a relationship with outside and a smoking area.


Let’s look at the organization with positive and negative aspects. Entries and exits, room capacities, technical groundwork, the information touch screens in front of the crit rooms were successful. The schedule printed and distributed daily, and the stands of sector professionals in the fair area are the eye-catching positive points.

The crit rooms had acoustic problems, I found the sounds coming from the presentations in the next room occasionally negative. It would be good if some precautions could be taken about that issue next year. Also, the convention center and its surroundings are weak in terms of places to eat and drink, therefore, some improvements would be good in that case.

I found the projects and presentations high quality and mind opening. I think a rich content is encountered when we look for what is being done in the world, how similar issues in different geographies are handled, cultural differences reflected in projects and solutions. Of course, the ability to build structures and detail perfection in developed rich countries were impressive. Besides, it was gratifying to see that some of the projects started with humble budgets have come to the forefront because they had strong ideas. In my opinion, WAF is a serious meeting place of world architecture.