Understanding façade between design and manufacturing : a case study on high-rise office buildings in İstanbul

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Turkey

Approval Date: 2006

Thesis Language: English

Student: Duygu Şener



The thesis aims to examine how the formation of façades, that is, the interface with a dual response both to interior functioning and exterior urban fabric, is separated from the totality of architectural design by new technological developments and design intentions. This aim is accomplished in three sections, respectively: “analysis of the façade, the properties and formation process in time”; “examining the façade formation of the high-rise office buildings in Levent-Maslak area in respect to the analysis” and “examining the working principles and marketing attitudes of façade manufacturing firms in terms of their role in façade formation.” The focus is on the description of a façade and the process that generated the autonomy in time is examined. In this sense, the thesis analyzes that the ‘free-façade’ application, by which physical autonomy is totally gained, transforms the façade to a “production element” by using the technological developments and specifications of curtain-wall system in the Turkish context, in particular in Levent-Maslak area. Besides the technical availability, the representational qualities of the new materials transform this production based character of the free-façade to a more representational character as an “object-façade.” Finally, the study investigates how the technical knowledge inherent in the new façade systems gives the authority,in formation process of façades, to the manufacturing firms instead of the architect. It is therefore stressed that the changing role of the architect in the formation process of façades is often based on the working principles and marketing attitudes of façade manufacturing firms at present.