A few minutes drive from Istanbul's city center, the park attracts thousands of visitors, day and night. The pine-shaded forest is a refuge from the city's extreme summer temperatures. Other facilities include swimming pools, restaurants, spas, and venues for open-air concerts.
The Chameleon does not sit in the landscape as an isolated object, but seems to emerge from the natural topology. One of its key features is a metal ramp that hugs the side of the building and slopes up to the roof, creating a terrace and additional exhibit space. Ramps make all floors accessible without stairs.
The angular geometry of the building plan was determined by its positioning around the centuries-old pine trees that populate the forest. Walls and floors converge at sharp angles, and floors slope unexpectedly. These angles are echoed in the electric lighting set into the ceilings and in the ventilation slots cut into a trapezoidal ramp that conceals the HVAC system.
Inside, steel and wood are the predominant materials. The glazed sections of the facade are at acute angles to the ground plane and provide a range of views of the forest. The umbrella of surrounding evergreens provides shading for the expanses of glass.
The short construction schedule of only six weeks required that the building be designed for fast assembly. The resulting efficiency of construction also means that the structure can be easily replicated by the client if required. The architects expect that, as the steel-clad facade rusts over time, it will give the impression of an ancient structure discovered in the forest.
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Global Architectural Development is led by partners Gokhan Avcioglu and Ozlem Ercil. They have practiced architecture and conducted research since 1994. They see architecture as a means for interpreting physical and cultural resources while creating new spatial experiences.