Norwegian practice Superunion Architects have created an entry for the Istanbul Disaster Prevention and Education Center competition: On a site almost without context because of its vast scale and open development plans, the Istanbul Disaster Prevention and Education Centre represents a new beginning for the Expo area adjacent to the Atatürk International Airport.
Manifested in a monolith is a world of knowledge, supported by individual elements on the ground, one of them a statue, representing mankind and its importance of supporting the collective science.
Like the original Atlas, this statue also carries a “world”. The floating monolith is sealing and protecting the exchange of the precious knowledge of learning and preparing for future disasters.
Today, the area is a typical example of a generic, market driven development without a common goal.
It consists of tall isolated buildings trying to express their individuality rather than performing as a coherent whole. The site is situated in a void between city and airport, where public space is nonexistent, isolated buildings are surrounded by their own private sea of parking.
The new Istanbul Disaster Prevention and Education Centre (DPEC) reverse current planning standards, making the ground surface completely public by elevating the building and letting the park flow freely below.
The horizontal, neutral volume stands out in a context of tall and intricate buildings.
The Istanbul DPEC is contextual through its contextlessness. It is a universal building, a prototype for the new typology of a globally oriented Disaster Centre.