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The outer envelope of Istanbul City Museum undergoing routine maintenance in 2038. A Newtecnic Construction Lab generates replacement façade components that are installed by robots and cobots.


Los Angeles and London — Following its involvement since the early design stage, international building engineers Newtecnic have been appointed by Salon Architects to coordinate the design of structure, façade and MEP engineering for Turkey’s new Istanbul City Museum. The building, located in the Topkapi district, is currently under construction and due for mid-2019 completion.

The deceptively simple building envelope gives the appearance of being a solid mass that, through the provision of massive splits in the façade, invites visitors to explore the 8,000-year story of Istanbul as though they are entering an archaeological site.

As part of its new role, Newtecnic will optimize the façades, main structure and MEP of the design for fabrication, assembly and installation. Newtecnic’s US- and UK-based research and development teams produced original algorithms to ensure the interrelated structural and MEP parameters of the building are fully examined, understood and optimized. This includes all building components, fabrications and assemblies, and their junctions, comprising the hundred-meter-long museum.

The inner courtyard of Istanbul City Museum undergoing routine maintenance in 2038. A Newtecnic Construction Lab generates replacement façade components that are installed by robots and cobots.

The museum façades have been engineered by Newtecnic so that the building’s cantilevered floors appear to hover while the main building mass is detached above the glass walled ground floor. LiDAR-equipped drones can be extensively used throughout the construction phase to monitor the accuracy of the as-built construction against its digital counterpart.

“Our role is to simplify complexity to make the museum buildable and to make it work for visitors, curators and the city itself for many decades.” said Newtecnic CEO Andrew Watts.

The apparently humble triangulated and folded monolithic façade helps take visitors on a journey through the city’s rich history. Within the 38,000-square-meter museum, natural transformations of light and shade are carefully modulated using perforated metal veils that provide glare-free vision and highly efficient insulation against Istanbul’s extremes of temperature. Using advanced 3D technology, Newtecnic simulated climatic conditions through the seasons and into the future, to provide the best visitor comfort and experiences coupled with optimum display conditions for artefacts.

“It is very gratifying to be appointed to complete the designs that we initiated at the competition stage,” said Andrew Watts. “By blending enclosed exterior open-air rooms and exposed interior spaces the museum will be an exciting place of discovery and learning.”

Newtecnic will oversee the local construction of large high-performance metal façade panels and specially designed fixing assemblies.  Andrew Watts said, “The use of additive manufacture and 3D printing of verified building components, in advanced onsite Construction Labs, means that this project could be delivered on time, within budget and to a very high-quality level.  Through extensive use of technology, we have achieved and surpassed all aesthetic and performance expectations.”

Newtecnic’s responsibility for inventing and implementing highly efficient waste-free project construction methods that maximize safety, productivity and cost efficiency while reducing risk, are key to the project. Andrew Watts said, “It is vital to ensure that every building component and construction process is optimized in advance on this confidently ambitious home for Istanbul’s story. This is achievable on large parts as well as to a ‘nut and bolt level’ by deploying our UK and US based design-engineering teams to develop, validate, perfect and communicate reliable and robust strategies and plans based on an evolving 3D digital-twin of the project.”

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