Resilient architecture has always been a key priority for the modern Turkish industry, with a strong focus on ensuring buildings are as disaster-proof as possible.
This direct vision is due to the country’s devastating history of natural disasters, with the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake killing 17,000 people and destroying 27,000 buildings.
After seeing a massive amount of Turkey’s built environment destroyed, it makes sense for the Turkish industry to want avoid such devastation.
In light of this, all competitive major developments now rely on earthquake resistant design and construction methodologies.
Turkey’s new terminal for Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Istanbul is a testament to these refined design skills.
Designed by Arup, the 200,000 square metre building includes a number of key seismic protection elements. It features 300 seismic isolators on the ground level to absorb and dispel the force of earthquakes. While the building will still move, it will be in a controlled manner, able to withstand earthquakes measuring as high as 7.5 to 8.0 on the Richter scale.
According to Arup seismic expert Atila Zekioglu, the main goal was to avoid the type of destruction brought about by the Kocaeli earthquake from recurring, especially given the capacity and importance of the building.
“The airport terminal is designed to save lives and property,” Zekioglu says. “After undergoing extensive testing and 14 quake simulations, we are confident the design will safeguard a major financial investment and preserve an international transportation system so that it may continue functioning if an earthquake strikes.”
Not only is the building already offering security to the Turkish people and their extensive visiting populace, it is being heralded as a revolutionary breakthrough in the design of resilience architecture and the epitome of modern airport architecture.
“The new Istanbul airport terminal is a model for the future,” says Zekioglu.
Turkey is continuing to make a long-term commitment to its people and its industry and setting the bar in terms of resilient architecture. Other countries with a recent history of earthquake devastation, such as Haiti, can benefit from these new industry innovations.