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Enhancing Istanbul Seismic Readiness


Preparing hospitals to operate during earthquakes. Istanbul has a long history of earthquakes due to its seismic-prone location nearby the North Anatolian Fault. Taking into consideration that a major potential earthquake is highly possible to occur over the next years, an urgent need to improve Istanbul’s readiness for potential earthquakes is today a priority.

With the aim of strengthening critical public facilities for earthquake resistance, and supporting measures for better enforcement of building codes and land use plans, the Government of Turkey represented by the Istanbul Project Coordination Unit (IPCU) commissioned Khatib & Alami (K&A) in November 2017 - in joint venture with timA Engineering- the consultancy services for the design of two major hospitals in Istanbul: Haydarpaşa Health Campus and Kartal Lütfi Kirdar Oncology Hospital. The core purpose of these two hospitals is to remain fully operational during and after earthquakes, meeting the national and international hospital regulations’ requirements. While Haydarpaşa hospital is planned to be constructed within the existing hospital complex, Kartal Lütfi Kirdar hospital will be designed in a new plot according to the Ministry of Health requirements due to the hospital’s insufficient current plot and considering the uninterrupted healthcare services. The hospital designs will include 1,070 beds for Haydarpaşa and 200 beds for Kartal Lütfi Kirdar, allowing for a modular and extendable type of construction for future investments.

K&A and timA Engineering will be carrying out the designs of Haydarpaşa and Kartal Lütfi Kirdar for all architectural, interior and façade design, sustainable design, landscaping, structural, mechanical, electrical, operational and medico-technical planning, kitchen/laundry, Furniture, Fixture & Equipment (FF&E) -including medical equipment- fire protection, together with on-site and off-site infrastructural works. Preparing the drawings and defining the detailed bills of quantities will be included in the works’ bidding documents.

This is the second project awarded to the Joint Venture between K&A and timA in Turkey after the construction supervision of Göztepe hospital in May 2014, paving the way for more successful projects in the Region.

The governing concept is to move from the idea of the desk as an individual’s workplace to an ethos of “the whole building is my workplace”. The freedom for individuals to work anywhere within the building and be globally connected, compelled a top-of-the-line communication network. As such, employees have the flexibility to choose from a range of work settings, upon their task of the moment, the adequate type of space they want to perform from. The design of the workstation, the library, the concentration booths, the break rooms or even the dining hall maintains technology as the communication enabler.

The value of face-to-face communication and innovation thinking comes from human interaction which is heartened by eliminating all physical barriers and partitions between departments. To the contrary, collaboration hubs and break rooms were introduced in adjacency to team neighborhoods for informal meetings and exchange of knowledge.

The strategy adopted by KSHARC for deep engagement with their clients and visitors required a security system that safely manages the journey of the building’s population (insiders and outsiders) in a way where visitors are met at the lobby side, invited as authorized to access the shared business center and/or escorted to private meeting areas.

The generic layout applied all over the workstations areas maximizes the efficiency of the floor plate. A consistent and generic workplace design enables staff to adjust and move to different spaces within offices quickly while furniture stays in place reducing the time of shift and churn.

Office design and fit-out need to focus less on demonstrating the organizational hierarchy and more on supporting and encouraging productive work. Middle Managers are sitting in the open plan environment in the same configuration of their staff, sharing the self-service photocopy rooms, pantries and service hubs. They make some 70% of the total organization’s head count.

Only 30% of the identified employees requiring a certain level of confidentiality, were provided enclosed offices to maintain the policy mandated by the organization’s management “no visual obstructions are allowed between any staff and subordinates”. 100% of employees have daylit yet shaded workstation/office with individual control for desk and desk screen level, and over the indoor temperature and intensity of light for the group neighborhood.


The project is composed of two buildings, the Corporate and the Parking-Services Block. They are four-storey high covering around 37,750 m2 of total built-up area. Both buildings have one common roof covered with photovoltaic solar panels which also bridges above the landscaped pedestrian alley in between. The alley is another place for outdoor encounters in good weather.

The Corporate Block includes several iconic features. The façade typologies highlight the treated green-zinc and glazed façade which runs in different formats throughout the Corporate Block. The high-tech media system displays the Center’s achievements in the open to public Entrance Hall. The skylit landscaped Atrium, which stands between the offices and the communal functions wings, acts like an encounter zone for visitors as well as for employees. Both wings are connected to each other across the Atrium void via several bridges running on each of the three upper floors.

The interior of the Corporate Block is custom-built at every front prioritizing light, fresh air, comfort and inspiration. It introduces a variety of working setups for individuals, small and larger groups as well.


The plug and play operation mode is almost at all corners ranging from Head-Down focus booth, Head-to-Head, brainstorming and large formal meeting rooms. The Meet and Dine concept has a place there; the garden on top of the communal wing is a full floor dining hall with plenty of landscaping, day light and variety of seating styles to enable several usage scenarios such as recruitment interviews, coffee chat, lunch break, informal meetings, rehearsals and large groups’ presentations.