In 2017, AKDO organized a design competition for young Architects, age 40 and under, to undertake designing a “Marble Garden” focused on Biophilic Design. Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing spaces while incorporating natural materials, natural light, vegetation and views of nature into the design. The movement has been brought about by the increasing desire for “greener” architecture, and its impact on human health. Research indicates that bringing elements of nature into spaces as a response to the artificiality of current urban conditions provides positive social and psychological effects.

The competitors, a group of accomplished young Architects, were tasked with using AKDOLAM, an innovative product developed by AKDO that facilitates the seamless integration of marble and other stones into architecture and design projects, as the medium to express their concept.

Marble was specifically chosen for use in this “Garden” competition as it is one of man’s oldest materials for construction, and has a unique and natural aesthetic. Each slab of marble is always different, despite being part of the same block, and boasts naturally diverse patterns. The unique range of colors and patterns that make up each piece of marble make them ideal for use in Biophilic Design. Traditionally, marble carries limitations in contemporary construction due to its high cost, weight and density, however AKDOLAM eliminates these hurdles due to its lightweight, durable and cost effective nature.

The Biophilic AKDOLAM Designs were then judged by a team of leading architects, including Han Tümertekin, Brigitte Weber and Nevzat Sayin. The design that was chosen by the judges was commissioned for construction in the lobby of the Silkar Plaza, and is now an indoor space perfect for seating and reflection. AKDOLAM marble with both Aluminum Honeycomb and 3D Fiberglass backing was chosen and custom made according to the architect’s project. The result of this competition is the emphasis of unique structural and aesthetic solutions for creating indoor environments with stronger ties to nature, which is a small step in the direction of improving the quality of contemporary life in our cities today.