Istanbul Opens World’s Largest Earthquake-Proof Building

The world’s largest earthquake-proof building, the new international airport terminal at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport, is now complete and open for service.

Around 7,000 people worked on the construction of the new terminal, stretching across more than 2 million square feet, the terminal doesn’t sit directly on the soil, but rather on more than 300 isolators, bearings that can move side-to-side during an earthquake. The whole building moves as a single unit, which prevents damage from uneven forces acting on the structure.

A devastating magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Istanbul on August 17, 1999 killing 17,000 people and causing billions of dollars in property damage. Scientists estimate it’s more likely than not that the city will be hit by another large quake in the next 30 years. Istanbul’s builders and planners have to take major earthquake precautions.

The Istanbul project is quite similar to what was done with the San Francisco Airport’s international terminal, but it uses a newer kind of seismic isolation device. The new terminal is designed to withstand an earthquake as strong as 8.0.

The new terminal and complementary units of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport which is completed as the most modern airport not only of Turkey but also of Europe, at a record period of 18 months with total investment of euro 500 million have been put into service at a ceremony participated by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, the smaller of the city’s two main airports, will have the capacity to serve 20 million passengers a year by 2012 following the opening of a new international terminal building.

The airport’s new terminal, along with additional buildings, was opened with a ceremony on Oct. 31 that was attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The construction, which began on May 3 under the partnership of Turkish, Malaysian and Indian companies, finished a year earlier than expected.

Around 7,000 people worked on the construction of the new terminal, which covers 320,000 square meters at the airport. The completed units include new domestic and international terminals, a multistory car park with a capacity for 4,718 vehicles and 72 buses, a 128-room airport hotel, a VIP building and a CIP division.

The terminal building includes 112 check-in and 24 self check-in counters, an 8,000 square meter food court and 5,000 square meters of duty free shops. The airport will be able to simultaneously serve eight large- and 16 medium-body airplanes.

Gökhan Buğday, chief executive officer of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, said that Turkey’s biggest airport hotel with 328 rooms will soon be opened.

The innovative new airport features the largest seismically-isolated building in the world, designed and constructed at record speed.

“The new Istanbul airport terminal is a model for the future”

Source: wired

Author: istanbul

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