Zorlu Center

This proposal for the Zorlu Center addresses three main challenges that confront such large-scale projects, particularly in the context of Istanbul: 1. the impact on the skyline of the city particularly in such a highly visible location, 2. the isolation of such mixed use developments from the surrounding city, and 3. the isolation of the different components of the development from each other. In response, the proposed Zorlu Center introduces an integrated urban-landscape approach to the design of the mixed-use development. The Center heightens the connection to the neighboring city and landscape. It enhances the mixture among the different elements of the program and a variety of office, retail, and dwelling types catering to a variety of needs. This variety is supported by a broad palette of open spaces that create a rich urban environment. The resultant form is an axial arrangement of high rises with maximum views that give order to the skyline of Etiler and Istanbul. These high rises spring out from a land form that provides continuity with the surrounding landscape and with the city. The high rises and the base are also linked to each other through a series of cuts that create pedestrian avenues and the spaces between the towers. The dynamism of these geographic forms as their angles and arrangements change from different positions is further enhanced by a double glass fa├žade that adds a temporal and a seasonal variety to the vitality of this urban experience. The Zorlu Center is located at the critical intersection between the first peripheral highway of Istanbul and the two main connections to the European side of the city, namely Buyukdere and Barbaros Avenues. It acts as the knot between the three parts of the city and the edge between the inner city and the new business center. The topography and location of the site make it highly visible, but the highway network makes it also relatively isolated, accessibility becoming one of the critical questions. The significance of the landscape presents another challenge for any new development on this site. The scale and pace of recent mixed use developments in this area of Istanbul have reorganized the land uses and skyline of the city at an unprecedented pace. Most of the developments suffer and make the city suffer from their un-integrated scale. This growing business center of Istanbul has yet to experience a successful development in the urban sense. The Zorlu Center benefits from being the first urban development that could take into the mix significant landscape and public transportation components as part of an integrated approach not only to the project itself but as assets for the business area at large. The Zorlu Center also benefits from the possibility of projecting into the third dimension the planimetric centrality that it enjoys in the layout of the metropolitan area in order to help improve on the overall urban legibility of the city and its skyline. This proposal for the Zorlu Center integrates the landscape and the urban aspects of the site into a clear architectural strategy that entails: 1. emphasis on the social benefits and economic benefits that result from mixing the different programs without compromising the relative autonomy of each, 2. sensitivity towards the surrounding landscape and the fabric of the city, 3. heightened environmental awareness that extends beyond the landscape to include traffic impact and noise and air quality control. Given its strategic location and the time at which it is appearing on the skyline of Istanbul, the Zorlu Center could show the way for better development in the city.


In Collaboration With Mimarlar Tasarim And Hargreaves Associates
Project Team: Hashim Sarkis, Cynthia Gunadi (Project Coordinator), Ryan Bollom, Mete Sonmez, Behrang Behin, Dan Spiegel, Kent Wu, Soojin Yoo, Jeffry Burchard
Mimarlar Tasarim Project Team: Han Tumertekin, Eylem Erdinc (Project Coordinator), Gokhan Uzun
Hargreaves Project Team: George Hargreaves, Kirt Rieder, Laura Gornowski
Animation: Methanoia, Miami And Buenos Aires
Environmental Design: Atelier Ten, New York And London (Nicolas Kienzl)
Structural Design: Adams Kara Taylor, London (Albert Taylor, Andrew Murray, Ricardo Baptista, Mei Chan, James Barry, Ben Parry)