Ece:You are the originator of the tallest building in Kuwait- Al Hamra tower and as I read in an article, the building designed to maximize views and minimize solar heat gain. So, you have combined the function and aesthetics in your design. – What is the importance for you to use durability, aesthetics and function as an inseperable whole in architecture?
Aybars Aşçı: Permanence is an inherent quality of architecture. With this notion of permanence, especially for large scale projects, there is a heightened level of responsibility for the architect. Our work leaves an imprint on the physical environmental. You want to make it a positive contribution. I look for ideas that are timeless. Designing buildings that are durable and functional are inherent part of my design thinking.
Ece:What did you get inspired while designing Al Hamra Tower?
A.A: Al Hamra Tower, at 413 meters high is a super tall tower. Its form is generated to respond to the specifics of its site and the structural demands of a super tall tower. The project is designed to maximize the views to the Gulf, while minimizing solar radiation. Its form is optimized to manage the wind loads. The overall expression of the tower is a reflection of its design performance.
Ece:For your “liquid forms” design you have mentioned one of your interview that you have inspired by the mastery of Baroque sculptors, expressing flow in a solid form I am wondering that where did you get the idea and what was your starting point for your inspiration?
A.A: In one of the interviews I referred to the expression of movement in Bernini’s sculptures. I was interested in capturing movement in a solid form, and the inspiration came from the material itself: concrete. The nature of concrete as a material has always been very inspiring to me – it is poured in a liquid state, and it takes its ultimate form as it cures. There is poetry in a material that finds its form as it changes phases. When I see a concrete surface, I always imagine its liquid state, its movement as it is poured. The concept I explored for ‘liquid forms’ design was the expression of flow and movement in a solid form.
Ece:As an architect who designed “liquid forms” do you think that an architect is responsible for each tiny detail of their design like wall ceramics or cutlery etc.?
A.A: I believe every scale of design challenge has its own design opportunities. The individual tile may be a small scale building element itself, but yet it offers a great deal of design impact when you consider its ability to define larger surfaces through repetition. And repetition can be a powerful design tool when there is complexity in patterning and variations within the field of repetition. Very much like the minimalist music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass. The individual ‘liquid forms’ tile is conceived to have a form that can translate the pattern to its neighboring tile differently in all four directions, and thus creating variations through repetition, resulting in a rich visual field of movement.
Ece:For Lima Art Museum project in Peru, what are the advantages and disadvantages for you to design within an existing and/or historical building?
A.A: I think it is very exciting to work within historical contexts. The New Contemporary Art Wing Expansion to the Lima Art Museum located in the 19th century Exposition Palace, creates a strong architectural dialogue between the historical structure and the new expansion; they connect without touching. The project requirement to create a below grade expansion to the current museum without touching the historical structure below or above grade, resulted in a careful exploration of how to spatially connect these two buildings that cannot physically connect. The new expansion is conceived as an architectural counterpoint to the historical museum, by creating echoes of the historical structure throughout the project. While establishing a respectful relationship to the historical context of the site, the proposed new expansion creates a strong architectural presence that augments the experience of the historical context and offers a rich series of spatial interventions to engage the urban context.
Ece:While designing a building that locates in a distinctive region for example has a unique style of architecture do you think it is important to preserve the texture or should an architect express their style anyhow?
A.A: Talking about style as it applies to my work makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think I have a style, nor I aspire to have one. I like to think my projects conceptually, and yes if I am designing in a unique context, the characteristics of that context will affect my thinking.
Ece:You have designed buildings in various countries all around the world and what are the difficulties to design for a culture that you are unfamiliar with and how do you adapt yourself to these cultures in your design process?
A.A: Throughout 20 years of my career as an architect, I have been lucky to engage in projects in many parts of the world. I think it is a very enriching experience. I approach each project with an open mind. It is really key, especially if you are working in a foreign context. At the end, as an architect we make decisions. And that requires a level of boldness. You need to commit to your ideas no matter where you are.
1. PANEL: Mega yapılar
Aybars Aşçı, paneline üç takıntısını anlatacağını söyleyerek başladı. İlk takıntısı olarak New York’ta kendi mimarlık şirketini kurmadan önce uzun yıllar çalıştığı Skidmore Owings& Merill LLP(SOM)’in kurumsal kimliğinden bahsetti. Bu başlık altında SOM bünyesinde çalıştığı süre boyunca dahil olduğu tasarımların birkaçından bahsetti .
İkinci takıntısının çıkış noktasının onu Ankara’ya getirdiğinden bahsetti ve 1996 senesinde ODTÜ’de yüksek lisans yaparken labirent takıntısının oluştuğunu anlattı. Bu takıntıya örnek olarak ise Peru’da bulunan Lima Sanat Müzesi’ne tasarladığı ek bina projesini anlattı. 19. yüzyıla ait bu kolonyal tarihi binaya dokunmadan ekleme yapmayı amaçladıklarını belirtti ve genç mimarlara “Yaptığınız işleri saklayın” şeklinde bir tavsiyede bulundu.
Üçüncü takıntısı olarak ise çizgisellikten ve çizgisel mekanlardan bahsetti. Türkiye’de katıldığı ilk yarışma için doğduğu şehir olan Bandırma’yı seçen Aybars Aşçı, Bandırma Tasarım Parkı projesi için Bandırma’da bulunan sahil yolu ve dalgakıranın çizgiselliğinden ilham aldığını söyledi. Bu sahil yolunun yerli halkın ve kendi yaşantısı üzerindeki etkilerinden ve tarihinden bahsetti.
Burak ÇELİK, Mimarlık 3.sınıf:
“Aybars Aşçı mimari hayatı boyunca tasarım ilkelerine önem vermiş, sürekli olarak ilkelerini ve kendini yenileyen bir mimar. Havaalanından son ana kadar bize enerjisiyle enerji katti. Onca yol geldikten sonra bizimle yeterince zaman geçirebilmek için uykusuz bile kaldı. Onun için uyku, yemek gibi şeyler çok da önemli değil, yeter ki zamanı verimli kullanabilelim düşüncesine sahip, onun için zaman kavramı çok önemli. Aybars Bey her şeyin özünü arama felsefesine sahip ve bu mimarisine de yansıyor. Yaptığı işi her zaman en kaliteli ve değecek şekilde yapmaktan yana. Onu şahsım adına bir rol model olarak görüyorum. Bu kadar başarılı ve uluslararası seviyede saygıdeğer Türk bir mimarı aramızda görmüş olmaktan, konuk etmekten ve bizzat tanışmaktan mutluluk ve gurur duyuyoruz.”