CW Interiors |
Global Glimpse | April 2013

Detailing design

CM Architecture creates a contemporary, functional and aesthetic working environment for Dogus Holding Headquarters in Istanbul.

The Dogus Holding Headquarters has emerged out of an existing reinforced concrete building in Istanbul. The architects, Cem Sorguç and his team from CM Architecture, were entrusted with the brief to redesign the existing structure and make it functionally efficient to serve as the company's administrative headquarters. The scope of the renovation excluded any alteration of the external structure. However, it reworked the program relationships, redesigned the interior spaces and retained the existing ground relationships to produce an office building that is unique and quite different from run-of-the-mill office designs.

Talking about the design concept for Dogus Holding, Cem Sorguç, Principal Architect, CM Architecture says, "The main concept that determined a direction for this project was the emphasis on an open plan office system that would encourage transitional functionality. Also, the fact that this building is far from the facilities of the city centre and will remain so for a while prompted us to create several facilities inside the office space."

Getting started

To start with, the architects took into account that two separate buildings - a two-storey building (block A) and an adjacent five-storey building (block B) - had to be turned into a functionally integrated structure. Accordingly, in the revised scheme, the first two storeys of the five-storeyed structure have been integrated in terms of programmatic relationships that now allow horizontal permeability and circulation. This was done by connecting the two buildings via interior streets formed with ramps.

The façade of the building that faces the Maslak Ayazaga Street has been pulled back at the intersection of blocks A and B in order to form the main entrance. The staff entrance has been provided from the south side of the building where the parking lots and service areas are located.

Beehive of activity

The interior of B block, which has an enclosed recreation area, buzzes with diverse activities. After removing a floor slab to increase the ceiling height, interactive areas like a cafe, library, resting rooms, rooms for short meetings, dining hall and conference room have all been assigned in this volume.

There is also an interior garden to delight the nature lovers in residence. The edge of the building sits against a rocky slope on the south-west side; this quiet area opens to a terrace in block B, around which the medical room, library and seminar room are designed. The roof space of block B has a roof garden that is connected to the office floors and the common spaces of block B.

The recreational block is accessed from the main entrance and is placed where the interior streets that connect to block A intersect. In an interesting choice, the colour palette for the high ceilings and metal surfaces has been kept dark, deliberately creating a feeling of relative darkness against which the lighting design stands out.

Serious business

The administrative functions of the office - the heart of any business complex - are assigned to block A, to which the entrance is from the north western side. The entrance lobby connects to offices and to the vertical circulation. The offices are partitioned in a central core typology with an open plan, enclosed or combined systems. The sides of offices that lie adjacent to busy traffic have been assigned a detail where the façade is pulled in as an internal layer and covered with external panels.

The surrounding walls and metal balustrades, external equipment, furniture pieces (excluding the working units in offices), doors, interior building components such as ceilings and wall panels have all been designed and detailed keeping the overall theme in mind.

In a world of constant change, the eternal tussle between the variable and the constant has never been so aesthetically executed as in this redesigned and repurposed office complex. The Dogus Holding Headquarters is a magnificently restored classic that reflects the modern outlook of the company itself.

Total Area: 13,790 sq m
Total Cost: Ç13,790,000
Text: Shweta Iyer
Photos: Cemal Emden


CM Architecture, Ihlamur Yolu, Cehreli 1 Apt. No: 65/6 Topagaci 34360 Nisantasi/Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey. Tel: +90 212 232 62 97. E-mail:

Meet the architect: Cem Sorguç

Firm: CM Architecture, founded in 2001.
Firm specialisation: Architecture, interior design, renovation and restoration of residential buildings, educational buildings, mixed-use projects, urban planning projects, cultural structures, office structures, tourism and lodging structures, commercial structures, industrial structures at widely differing scales.
Philosophy towards life: Cognition and memory.
Favourite architect/Designer: BV Doshi, Charles Corea, SJK Architects, Le Corbusier, Norman Foster, Carlo Scarpa, Steven Holl, David Chipperfield.

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