21st century ecological research and development facility that fosters interdisciplinary cross-sectoral collaboration

Container Park is a unique project where architecture contributed not only to shaping spaces in a resourceful way, but strategically fostering a new culture of ecological sensitivity and community-driven research, nested within a large public university campus.

Project Name: Container Park
Studio Name: ATÖLYE Labs
Location: Ege University Technopark
Client: İDEEGE Teknopark A.Ş.
Program: Offices, laboratory space, gallery, cafe, eatery restaurant, showroom, gallery, exterior terrace and garden
Area: 1000 m2 total floor area, 800m2 landscaping
Year: January – October 2015
Team: ATÖLYE (strategic consulting,  sustainability consulting, architectural design, landscape design, project management, site control), Antre Design (architectural consulting), Venta Mühendislik (mechanical), Sinapsen Elektrik (electrical), Methal Mühendislik (static analysis), Parça Proje (lighting consulting)
Project Manager: Nesile Yalçın
Project Team: Batuhan Türker, Begüm Ural, Buşra Tunç, Engin Ayaz, Murathan Sırakaya, Nujen Acar
Photography: Yerçekim Photography

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©Yerçekim Photography

By recognizing the nascent need for productive relationships between education, research, and industry, EGE Technopark approached ATÖLYE to help envision a facility that would foster interdisciplinary collaboration and anchor the emerging Technopark in the heart of Izmir.

The programmatic structure of this campus is coupled with “catalysts” such as a hackerspace, hybrid gallery and social spaces that encourage interaction among all members of its community. Container Park combines an ecological and future-proofed design which overall acts as a prototype of the R&D campus.

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©Yerçekim Photography

The building is designed to bridge the gap between different fields of sciences. The architecture is designed with the intention of the members of its community to cross paths and interact for the cultivation of future projects. The hybrid gallery leverages cross-disciplinary projects, providing the residents with their needs of a multimedia space for presenting unique outcomes.

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©Yerçekim Photography

Container Park is site-specific in all senses of the word. By repurposing locally-acquired second-hand shipping containers located 12 km away in Izmir port, the design team was able to upcycle an underused site with underused construction materials. Looking into the site, solar orientation, existing campus circulation routes, wind angles, tree-shaded areas and the contours of the previous building helped craft a meaningful and financially viable programmatic division, volumetric arrangement and ultimately a fluid user circulation. A storyboard of possible user interactions helped communicate the importance of catalyst programs around art, design and technology. Meanwhile, a vertical ‘beacon’ container, an inner courtyard, narrow cross-circulation corridors, and ample seating spots enable spaces for prospect and refuge, as well as spontaneous encounters and play. Unlike the traditional campus buildings with static entrance and exit points, Container Park is a humble centrepiece that can be experienced in a versatile manner.

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©Yerçekim Photography

Container Park is designed to be environmentally sustainable. Aside from material recycling and reuse, the project exhibits a full gamut of environmental strategies. By placing container modules with maximum north-south exposure and narrow cross sections, the design maximised the ability to use passive solar strategies coupled with natural ventilation. Existing trees, optimally designed shading devices, solar coated southern windows, thick insulation, efficient air conditioning, natural materials such as cork, and LED lighting systems all helped minimize the building’s environmental impact.

Programmatically, by placing interaction catalysts across the site, envisioning sections of the container facades as a workable canvas for muralists and designing for easy dismantlement and relocation, the project becomes a manifestation of a building as a prototype, one that entails galvanizing a talented community in Izmir and beyond.


ATÖLYE was founded in 2013. It is a community-powered creative services organization that provides services to both clients and creative professionals globally. ATÖLYE consists of a Strategic Design Studio, an Academy, a Creative Hub, and a Ventures arm. It currently has two hub locations in Istanbul and Dubai.

ATÖLYE’s Strategic Design Studio works with companies to design and implement strategic solutions to the complex challenges they face. The Academy offers learning programs that equip individuals and teams with skills in creative leadership, radical collaboration, and systemic design. The Ventures arm offers enterprise entrepreneurship programs through business modeling, and finally, the Creative Hub creates the environment for each of these components to interact by fostering a community of over 150+ multi-disciplinary creatives who aspire to connect, learn, and grow around purpose-driven work.

In April 2019, ATÖLYE joined kyu, a collective of the leading creative organizations in the world whose purpose is to be a source of creativity that propels the economy and society forward. The kyu collective is made up of world-leading organizations such as BEworks, C2, Godfrey Dadich, IDEO, Kepler, Public Digital, RedPeak, Sid Lee, and SYPartners.

ATÖLYE’s community is a place where individuals and organizations can thrive, be inspired, collaborate, and share unique experiences together. Our community has been a source of learning, inspiration, and transformation for all of us who identify with ATÖLYE. Through this community, we have been able to aim for lasting impact that none of us could have achieved alone.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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