Inspired by gardens, public thoroughfares and Italian piazzas, Turkish firm Yerce Architecture has transformed a furniture company’s headquarters in Izmir to reinforce the positive perception people have of the business, through the natural atmosphere of the space.
The architects wanted to break with the furniture company tradition of product display and showrooms. So they looked to natural rhythms and organic materials and nature itself to build and enhance the company’s image.
Letting nature in
Originally, the contrast of entering a brightly lit hall from a dimly lit showroom would dazzle people’s eyes. So the architects connected these two areas with a buffer zone that created a slow and balanced transition into the more luminous space. This became the expression of the ‘street’ concept.
On one side of the ‘street’ they designed a brick wall in which the holes were laid horizontally. This gives the space beyond a mysterious feel, while casting a lacework of light onto the other side.
But that was not all they let in. One side of the building looked out onto rows of cypress trees. So the architects made this façade transparent in order to integrate the outer with the inner. In addition to the lovely views, they planted an olive tree indoors and created ceiling ventilators out of bamboo. These elements completed the expression of the garden concept.
And because lots of activities take place in these spaces such as meetings, presentations, celebrations, plays, exhibitions, speeches, the architects were inspired by the bustling Italian piazzas and their unpolished natural travertine. So to express this concept of ‘square’ the same material now graces large sections of the floor.
Light, however, was the element that characterised this project the most, and brought all the concepts together. So the inspiration for the name came from this. OrfiSera is a combination of the firm’s name (Orfi) and the Turkish word for greenhouse (Sera). It’s a fitting name for such a space that inspires and encourages life to thrive.