VAKKO FASHION CENTER Istanbul, Turkey Designed By REX

CLIENTS Vakko and Power Media
PROGRAM Headquarters for a Turkish fashion house—including offices, showrooms, conference rooms, auditorium, museum, and dining hall—as well as the television studios, radio production facilities, and screening rooms of its media sister-company
AREA 5,400 m² (58,000 sf) and 3,700 m² (40,000 sf)
COST Confidential
STATUS Completed 2010

When Caltech’s senior administration suddenly changed, REX’s design for the Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology was canceled. Two months later, the CEO of Vakko (Turkey’s pre-eminent fashion house) and Power Media (Turkey’s equivalent of MTV) approached REX with plans to design and construct a new headquarters by the year’s end using an unfinished, abandoned hotel. The requested timetable would normally have been absurd. However, the unfinished building fortuitously had the same plan dimension, floor-to-floor height, and servicing concept as the Annenberg Center’s “Ring” (the so-called “Sheep”).

By adapting the Construction Documents produced for the Annenberg Center to the abandoned concrete hotel skeleton, construction on the perimeter office block commenced only four days after Vakko/Power first approached REX. This adaptive re-use opened an eight-week window during which the more unique portions of the program could be designed simultaneous to construction. Speed became the design’s most significant parameter.

Whereas the Annenberg Center’s Ring was a fragile, post-tensioned concrete structure which depended upon the robust, steel interior for support, Vakko/Power’s existing Ring is painfully over-designed, the byproduct of numerous, deadly earthquakes in Turkey.

The design problem is therefore reversed: Vakko/Power’s unique interior must remain detached so as not to disrupt the structural integrity and waterproofing of the in situ skeleton. Dubbed the “Showcase,” this unique interior houses the auditorium, showrooms, meeting rooms, and executive offices, as well as all vertical circulation and restrooms...more