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Buildings breathe...

Buildings breathe. In the corridors, rooms and saloons as vessels of a building, there are human being steps in circulation instead of blood. Buildings that are constituted by lots of difficulties, should have an healthy circulation. The blood in the vessels should circulate continuously; otherwise any blockage may cause paralysis or death. The city consists of the system that includes the buildings and the relationship between them, also breathes like a living organism. Construction decisions should be made in the context of this system and should be integrated with other social, economic and environmental conditions.

Construction and land development sectors are shaped in a multi-actor environment. Local municipalities, private sector, landlords, investors, developers, users and local residents, technical team and non-government organizations are stakeholders of the urban development process as they are mostly affected by the results of it. The owner describes his vision and expectations, the architects produce the design that meets the technical and aesthetical needs, the engineers build and the users and residents are visually and psychologically effected by the final product. All the expectations and interest of these actors are very different from each other and they usually conflict. These factors should be examined very well and the investment decisions should present a balance of interests.

Lots of workers, craftsmen and contractors work for it for a long time. Big amount of money is being invested in, finance source is supplied and the construction is completed. Then the building waits for the proper users and managers. The lucky ones meet the demand immediately, but the others? We can’t explain that only by chance effect. The key point exists at the beginning of the decision process. The landlords decide on investment according to existing trends or emotions. But this causes unhealthy results. Thus, we recommend the investor to stop before making any decision. It’s vital for the investor to take professional consultancy.

The right thing to be done by the investor is, to transfer his vision to a professional expert or an institute. We accept ourselves very lucky whether we join the process by this point. Because we are at the beginning point and we can assess and shape the project according to our profession. Our team, including urban planners, architects, civil engineers, economists and public relations experts, start to work on the project. Environmental studies, public surveys, counting and other necessary information are gained and assessed. Accessibility studies and transportation relation maps, also the studies on deciding target market, competition, target mass are being developed. The commercial program, setting the structure and the scenario of the project, the final layouts and products are established. Then, the architectural program and marketing program are presented. Marketing model, price ratios are presented to stakeholders’ approval and discussion.

Shopping malls, as a new concept of changing economic conditions and social traditions, are another field of our profession. This structure includes various functions together and needs a serious organization struggle. Shopping malls are taking the place of street shopping and traditional bazaars. So they are private, but also public spaces. They are new focal points of social life and public relations, and they should be designed in this context.

One of the most important subjects about shopping mall design is “shop-mix” of malls. If a proper shop-mix is not established, the shopping mall doesn’t live. Consequently, retail trade alternatives should be defined in the context of shape, form, size and scope. Leasing areas should be determined, prestigious brands and well-known tenants should be fixed, the profile should be drawn up, the spatial location and relative distances should be described. Moreover, it’s necessary to design location and volume proposals according to social and general purposes. Leasing areas and other common spaces and public areas should be arranged and their conceptual framework should be drawn up. After conceptual study has been completed, timing and implementation program is developed.

However, we are usually not able to contribute the process from the beginning point. We deal with several projects get knotted because of a wrong decision and usually have to change the basic concept and architectural context of the project. 

Our first extraordinary project on that field is Profilo Shopping Mall. The story lying under this success is very interesting and teaching for everyone. After the factory has moved to another place in outer city, the property has an area of 50.000 m2 have had the need of re-assessment and regeneration. First it was thought to be a warehouse, but we have done the necessary studies and research, and then as a result we advised to build a shopping mall. It was not convincing for many people, but we all persuade them in that image. Right financial policy, marketing methods and trust took us to success. In the opening day %98 per cent of the building was leased. That was a success. Today, with 30.000 visitors daily not only for shopping but also for social and cultural activities, it’s a living complex.

Of course the quality of construction is important, the aesthetics, materials and façade cover usually blind the people but if the location, concept and management are insufficient the project can’t be successful. On the other hand, right design can be successful with inexpensive costs.

All these services should be adopted by landlords and investors. It can’t be accepted that anyone has a capital force and accumulation has the profession at the same time to base the land development and property projects on right basis. It’s necessary to educate the investors.

The typical instance of this is Sultancenter Shopping Mall project. The half of the mall belongs to municipality, and the other half belongs to a construction firm. We presented a conceptual work for the firm, and they appreciated our recommendations. But it wasn’t possible to persuade the Municipality to work together. As a result, when Sultancenter shopping mall opened the doors %50 percent of it was fulfilled, but the other parts still in question.

A very successful instance of cooperation with the investor is FIBALIFE residence project of Finans Property Investment Corporation. The project is developed and designed in cooperation with the investor from the decision making level. It’s necessary to mention that %80 percent of the dwellings have been sold in first 6 months of the construction, which is also an indicator of the success.

Our achievements are growing up day by day. This makes us happy but also restless. We have to sustain and improve our achievements.

Good luck for all.

Civil Engineer

General Manager GAYA Gayrimenkul

Civil Engineer

General Manager GAYA Gayrimenkul

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