In collaboration with Inter.National.Design (IND) and ABT, the Çanakkale Antenna Tower will be Powerhouse Company's first project in Turkey. Won as part of an open international competition, our combined visitor centre and multi-media broadcasting tower saw off seven other shortlisted practices including Oslo-based Snøhetta, the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and the London firm Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) early in 2014. Located within a hilltop forest on the outskirts of Çanakkale, a historic seaside town in western Turkey, the 100m-tall antenna tower is due to complete in 2018. In response to the brief, the site will be transformed into a public destination offering exhibition spaces, recreational facilities and observation decks in addition to the antenna and its service plant, with its control room, cooling system and emergency power supplies.
Our Çanakkale Antenna Tower reflects Powerhouse Company's most recent thinking that we, as a society, are entering a new chapter of modernisation. Pure functionality is no longer enough. Comfort and emotional experience have become more dominant drivers for quality than sheer technical endeavour.
The design resolves these kind of complex programmatic requirements by uniting them in one continuous spatial gesture. We used the idea of the ribbon to tie elements together in a loop that climaxes where the ends meet at the tower. Built of Cor-ten steel, the building is detached from the ground, liberating it from the forest and conserving an uninterrupted ground-scape. The varying height of the structure creates an undulating platform that doubles as an elevated walkway through the treetops. Here, visitors will receive a close-up experience of the forest and nature, as well as breathtaking 360° views across the city and bay below.
Along its path, the loop will splinter off into two 'air pockets' housing the visitor centre and service plant before it returns to the top of the hill where it shoots off into the sky.
Functioning both as the broadcasting antenna and as an icon, the tower will become an attraction for kilometres around. In this way also, the tower, with its two vertical meeting paths, acts as an arched gateway to the park, under which all visitors enter. This gives the project a strong, but gracious, monumental identity to match the elaborate scenic experience of the promenade.
While connected by the ring, our design for Çanakkale separates the visitor centre and technical spaces from the tower to eliminate any radiation hazard for its visitors and workers. Yet, at the same time, to avoid the activities of day trippers from disturbing the functioning of the antenna, these two flows of people are kept apart by positioning the technical 'air-pocket' at the bottom of the tower, close to the road and the visitor centre on the opposite side. Thus leaving the tower as a simple and utilitarian structure, and making it easily adaptable to future changes in technology.
Arman Akdogan (1973, Turkey) and Felix Madrazo (1972, Mexico) founded IND in 2007. Based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the office works on various international commissions that range from architecture to urban planning and research.
ABT is an independent consulting firm which adds value to the built environment, be it buildings, infrastructure, new development or re-use. ABT is a multi-disciplinary firm that focuses on structural engineering, civil engineering, architectural engineering, building physics and installation engineering.