Istanbul-based architecture practice do[x]architecture has repurposed the interiors of former gasworks factory buildings to form an “activity island” in Istanbul, Turkey.
Called Museum Gazhane, the 2,000-square-metre complex has replaced the former buildings of Hasanpaşa Gasworks, which was established in 1892 to meet the energy needs of the Anatolian side of Istanbul.
The original building was used as a gas factory – where coal is burned to produce gas -which was used for heating and lighting. The factory was abandoned in 1993 and remained as an industrial heritage building in the city center for a long time.
do[x]architecture was commissioned by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Gürsoy Grup Restoration to refunction the interiors of the former factory buildings to adapt to today’s needs.
The overhaul process was completed in line with an in-depth planning process, the existing functions of the buildings during their factory period and their relations with each other, alongside restoration decisions and today’s needs.
Museum Gazhane acts as “an activity island”
The scheme is divided into two main categories: Museum Buildings and Library Buildings. All buildings were envisioned to form “an activity island”.
While Museum Buildings make up museum structures, a temporary exhibition area, a science center and workshop, a bookstore and museum store buildings, Library Buildings make up a library, co-working spaces and a cafe.
The overall masterplan included the refunction of museum and exhibition buildings, science center and workshop, library, bookstore, cafe and information buildings, the exhibition design of Climate Museum, interior and furniture designs of buildings.
“While working on buildings, each of which had actually the production machines of factory, it was aimed to produce flexible and transformable spaces while trying to maintain the overall integrity and aesthetics of the existing buildings with the concerns of touching the existing buildings as minimum as possible,” said do[x]architecture.
“Structural elements, machines, machine plinths and all extant parts from the factory period inside the buildings were used as a design tool. Along with these priorities, the use of natural and recyclable materials was prioritized, and marine plywood (birch) was used as the main material.”
“The interior design of the industrial heritage buildings were planned in a way that allows flexible use, socializing, while opening up space for users from all ages and profiles.”
“The use of public space was supported with open event and exhibition spaces. With all these decisions, Gazhane was aimed to be part of urban space as a holistic area,” the office explained.
One of the administrative units of Gaswork facility was turned into as a visitor information building, ticket sales and cloakroom area.
Inside, visitors are welcomed by a reception area, as well as a counter in the heart of the building.
The studio used a shelf system for souvenirs along the inner walls of the building, and lockers where visitors can put their personal belongings, and intervention caps for technical infrastructure.
“Visitors, passing through the main entrance, can get general information about the location of the complex and functions, and have information about events in this single-storey building located just to the left of the entrance,” said the office.
The front door of the building welcomes general visitors, on the other hand, the rear door gives an access to the space – used as a gathering area for the visitors of the Science Center.
Entrance of Science Center
Science Center & Workshop
The studio transformed Gaswork’s former building, which was originally used as a workshop and warehouse, into a Science Center, showcasing exhibitions tackling with energy and climate crisis, and a workshop area for children.
The architects divided interiors into different zones: a section of the building, which is close to the entrance/information building, was designed as the reception area, the middle section as an interactive exhibits area, and the last section with independent entrance were designed as a workshop area for children.
In the entrance/welcoming area, a counter and cabinet unit were designed in order to inform the visitors about the experience area.
“The unit, which has pivoted piece surfaces, turns into an entertaining and playing surface for children, while on the other hand, it includes lockers where they can lock their belongings,” the office explained.
The studio adopted a holistic design approach in the interactive exhibition area. To achieve this, the units were grouped according to their main titles and placed in the circulation scheme.
The interior is not divided by separator walls so that the space can function as a whole and flexible.
“The tables, which include the software infrastructure and technical equipment of the units, were designed considering the visitors with disabilities,” the studio continued.
“In the immersive zone, dark colors were preferred for floors, walls and furniture, aiming to highlight exhibits and games among other units.”
“The workshop section, on the other hand, was designed as flexible as possible according to different types of workshops that require different spatial layouts.”
“The cabinet, created along a wall, serves as a station for the table and poufs used in the space, as well as for material storage. The tables are designed as foldable, while the poufs are in a form that can be put on top of each other,” the office added.
In the workshop buildings, the architects prioritized flexibility approach for both the use of space and storage purposes.
“This station enables the use of the necessary furniture for workshops that require different seating arrangements according to different needs, while ensuring that unused tables and poufs are stored in the same place, eliminating the need of a separate storage,” the studio added.
Along the other wall, the team designed a blackboard – set to be used during workshops, a projection screen and a panel that has mesh surfaces allowing the works to be hanged and exhibited.
This area allows for a seminar layout, a table setting suitable for group work, or a performance venue as well.
The original building, which was used to meet the needs of the employees of the Gasworks and contained a water heater – was converted into a bookstore and museum shop.
While the internal walls were designed as bookshelves and storage areas that continue along the wall, a sales counter was placed on the axis of the existing machine and low-rise book sales units in the middle area.
The studio preferred to use corten material for the sales counter in order to complement the same language of the existing machine in the building.
Seating units were arranged in the openings via a shelf system. Additional spaces included reading and flexible areas for visitors.
The recessed part on the left of the entrance door was arranged as a poster place for events and exhibitions.
The studio transformed Gaswork’s flat furnace building into a temporary exhibition space, called Gallery. Covering a total of 670-square-metre area, the building is accessible from both sides.
To cope with a level difference in the site, the studio moved this level difference to the outside of the entrance door on the public space and repurposed as a ramp for entrance.
“During the construction works, the rail system remaining from the factory period, which emerged at the entrance of the building on the main square side, was framed by the glass mass and added to the exhibition space,” the architects explained.
“A welcoming space defined for each entrance, and the remaining volume was designed as an exhibition space that can be divided/combined with movable exhibition walls, and areas for exhibitions adapted to different sizes and flexibility.”
“In addition to the exhibition design, floor materials and color decisions, door designs, lighting designs, entrance designs, cloakroom and storage were designed for all subsequent changes that could be used for temporary exhibitions in the future stages,” the office added.
do[x]architecture repurposed Gaswork’s old compressor building as a library and co-working space.
While book shelves and book research section are placed on the ground floor of the building, the upper floor is turned into a co-working space. A reception counter is situated on the ground floor opposite the entrance door.
Inside, the studio preserved the surfaces of the concrete plinths from the old factory and surrounded by bookshelves.
Book research sections and book reading sections are placed within the recessed parts – called niches – between the plinths.
“Book research sections are organized with high tables and stools where a total of 8 computers can be placed, seating units have been designed for the book reading sections. In front of the façade openings, desks were placed to benefit from daylight,” the studio said.
The upper floor is exposed by a maximum sunlight and designed as a working area.
In the middle axis, visitors are able to work on desks, and the workspace is increased with the stepped seating arrangement that continues along one of the inner walls.
All technical requirements were hidden within a cascading seating arrangement unit, the workbenches moving in a rail system were planned as facilitators for users.
In addition, this fixed furniture includes niches for users to place their personal belongings.
Library & Co-Working
Library & Co-Working
The architects transformed one of Gasworks carbureted water facility buildings into a co-working space and box office for theaters.
The Co-working Space, located directly opposite the library building and next to the cafe, was envisioned to create a connection with the library. The main entrance, provided on the library façade, contains units for different study groups.
Library & Co-Working
“On the left of the entrance is a desk for 8 people. The table, which can also be used as a meeting table, is enhanced by pouf units and provides working and meeting spaces for up to 16 people,” said the studio.
“There are desks and fixed seating units along the interior walls of the building that benefit from daylight.”
Library & Co-Working
The architects placed a vertical flowerpot that functions as a seperator between spaces to meet different needs. At the rear side, there is a free space with fixed and mobile seating units.
Library & Co-Working
In the section of the Theaters side, the team arranges a box office and waiting area.
This area includes a desk for ticket sales, a board for posters/announcements, an archive cabinet, and fixed and movable seating units for the waiting area.
One of former Gasworks factory buildings was repurposed as a café. The interior of a cafe consists of a folding system which can be adapted to today’s needs. The studio designed a retractable cover and façade to adapt to different seasonal conditions.
In between Museum and Library Buildings, the team proposed an exhibition and event space for various types of events and cultural activities.
“This space was designed to host open-air exhibitions and installations with invitations and open calls to artists, designers and architects,” the studio added.
Another larger area, called Gazhane Square, is an open area located in front of the highest and most effective furnace building of Gaswork, where gas is obtained from coal.
The studio repurposed this open area as a public square, aiming to host temporary events, concerts and performances.
Functions of Gaswork
Information area – plan
Information area – sections
Science Center – plan
Science Center & Workshop – section and axonometric drawing
Gallery building – plan
Gallery building – plan
Gallery building – axonometric drawing
Library building plan
Library building plan
Library building section
Library building – 3D section
Co-working Space – plan
Library & Co-working Space – section
Cafe building – plan
Cafe building axonometric drawing
Exhibition courtyard – sketch by Kadir Uyanık
Square sketch by Kadir Uyanık
do[x]architecture designed the interiors of Climate Museum – which is part of the same larger masterplan for Museum Gazhane.
The firm also completed the new Museum of Islamic Civilizations (MIC) – featuring more than 400 Islamic artefacts – in Istanbul, Turkey.
Project Name: Museum Gazhane – Museum and Library Buildings
Project Location: Hasanpaşa – İstanbul – Turkey
Interior Design: do[x]architecture
Design Team: Dicle B. Özdemir, Kadir Uyanık
Project Team: Damla Çolakoğlu, Tuncay Güner, Cansu Özay
Client: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality & Gürsoy Grup Restoration
Contractor: Gürsoy Grup Restoration
Subcontractor: The Mob, Karınca Reklam, ADF Engineering
Concept design: do[x]architecture
Construction Drawings: do[x]architecture
Furniture Design: do[x]architecture
Graphic Design: Pompaa İstanbul
Project Start Date: 2018
Project Completion Date: 2021
Construction Start Date: 2019
Construction Completion Date: 2021
Construction Area: 2000 m2
Top image: A view from Science Center.
All images © Sena Özfiliz – Archilifography.
All drawings © do[x]architecture.
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