The Argul Weave is located in Bursa, Turkey, 60 miles south of Istanbul on the Asia Minor peninsula. Bursa is home to Turkey’s historic and celebrated textile industry, which is being reborn and positioning itself as a regional and international leader. Located on the corner of Koklu Cd and Kirkpinar Cd, the project site sits at the center of a manufacturing district and is the first in a planned series of interventions to redevelop the area.
The client is a textile distributor with an existing facility directly adjacent, to the east of, the project site. Since its inception, the ArgulWeave was planned as a mixed-use development to attract international textile businesses with the intent on refocusing and rebranding the district as a leading manufacturing textile hub. The Weave is 14,760 square feet distributed over three stories, with retail on the ground floor and offices on levels two and three, and capped off with a rooftop restaurant.
To satisfy the client’s vision, the design considers the rich tradition of Turkish textiles and their production via the interweaving of individual threads by giant looms. This motif offered a means to integrate the disparate parts of the project into a singular and coherent whole while making a clear statement as to the importance of this district. The material palette was kept to a minimum to emphasize the continuity and plasticity of the design. Patara marble quarried from Burdur, Turkey, and fabricated in Afyon, forms the sinuous banding of the façade. Dark red marble from the Turkish Aegean region forms the building’s plinth and the inner areas of the weave are clad with reddish brown Iroko wood from West Africa. As one walks along the façade, its undulations create a changing rhythmical pattern enhanced by the continuous play of light and shadow that changes throughout the day.
As for the interior, the Iroko wood of the façade projects in on the ground floor to form fully glazed entry vestibule vitrines creating a warm transition between exterior and interior. Levels two and three are animated by the alternating in-and-out and up-and-down of the façade banding that creates a unique and asymmetric view for every window opening. The vertical strands of the façade terminate at the rooftop, forming crenellations from between which is a serial framing of the surrounding district and the distant Uludag Mountains that anchor the city.
The design’s execution relied on a unique and collaborative process that included a diverse group of team members situated in different regions and continents. Digital technologies were tailored to adapt to local practices for fabrication and construction. Master digital models were used to fine-tune and control all geometries and construction assemblies and were also used as a means to evaluate costs.
Oftentimes, constraints from the fabricators were fed back into the model to further tune the geometries and design as required. As in the design, the overall process can be conceived as an interwoven collaboration of actors located in distinct geographies. Research, design, and execution fed each other in parallel progressions throughout the project that led to the realization of the ArgulWeave.