Turkish Airlines is Turkey’s national airline, and their CIP lounge serves with a daily capacity of 2000+ people as it is also open to Business Class travellers of other airlines in the Star Alliance.
The briefing for the new CIP Lounge project to replace the old one was ‘to offer Turkish hospitality at its highest in a relaxing and contemporary atmosphere.’
While the main idea was to create a ‘contemporary Turkey experience’, Autoban returned to the concept of 'Kervansaray' – the traditional roadside inns where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. The designers also revisited the curvy domes of Istanbul’s mosques, most of them being the century-old works of famous Ottoman architect Sinan the Great, and the unique architecture of the Grand Bazaar.
Borrowing the traditional arcade system for a contemporary purpose, Autoban designed a series of bubble-like portals, which create a substructure within the airport hall. This substructure helps bring the gigantic environment of the airport down to a more human scale and lend warmth to the space. In some areas of the lounge, round openings in the architectural substructure reveal the larger proportions of the terminal.
The 5.2 metre-high spherical pods divide the space into sections, while maintaining open views of the rest of the lounge and providing a sense of continuation. Each one of the pods serve to a specific purpose such as the library, restaurant, tea garden, piano area, screening room, meeting room, kids’ playground or the rest rooms, and starting from the entrance, they are organized in order of the priorities of the passengers’ needs. The interconnected portals allow transitions in between them, and while moving through the spaces, the passengers are encouraged to discover each module with curiosity.
The black channels that frame the modules are developed to wire and hide all the mechanical and electrical system, while bringing a visual balance to the all-white backdrop the archways provide. Autoban also installed a white cage featuring a traditional Turkish Seljuk pattern and covered one of the concave walls with a map of the world.
The wooden floor provides the grounds for custom-designed furniture upholstered in drapery fabrics and leather. Pieces from Autoban’s signature furniture collection such as the Throne chair and Cloud table, which is used as the lounge’s reception desk, also find their place within the lounge’s interior. The overall result aims to carry the pre-flight experience to a higher level.