Istanbul, Turkey
Zorlu Holding
Built Area
720.000 m² (7,750,015.50 sqf)
Mixed Use

The Zorlu Center Site is just at the junction of the Bosphorus Bridge European connection and the glamorous Büyükdere axis that connects the city center with the great business district Maslak. It is reached from various important centers of Istanbul and moreover, topographically is one of the few plain sites that face south, viewing the old city. With all these significant qualities, it has been a “subject of desire” and was owned by the Zorlu Property through a tender, being watched by all levels of the public. In this sense, the mixed use project being developed on this area deals with contradictions such as grandeur and modesty, public and private, institutional and domestic, social and distinguished, together with structural and topographical considerations.

The ground is reconstructed with a topographical interpretation, a kind of shell that is transformed into an in-between layer for the different functions combined in the complex. The shell starts from the Boulevard Level, with a Public Square at the meeting point with the city, and rises towards south and east. It is split into two arms seperated by level differences, in order to overcome the dichotomy between the private and the public. The inner route, the public topography reaches to the 28m. higher Urban Balcony with the marvellous Bosphorus view. The outer ring ends up with a height of 32m creating the private topography of the residential units.

Just in the center, at the Boulevard Level is the Piazza surrounded by the retail units, that strives for creating an alternative public space. The activity stairs direct the public down to the interior retail units, the Bosphorus Level, that also has another direct entrance on the south. The retail level below has the subway connection and includes the cinemas and other leisure facilities. In thsi way, the retail center offers both exterior and interior shopping in relation to the Piazza that feeds the whole complex.

The Performance Arts Center has a 2300 people capacity main hall, equipped with all the facilities to inhouse all kinds of international shows, being oneand only in Turkey. It is supported with a 740 people capacity drama theater. This complex has an entrance amphi as a continuation of the Public Square and the Piazza, that offers a semi-closed space for alternative performances. Multi-stırey foyer space also faciliates several kinds of arts exhibitions and installations and has direct acces to the retail center on all levels and underground parking.

The terrace flats under the shell, are equipped with large gardens on the first level, and with large terraces on the upper levels enjoying the Bosphorus view. They are reached through the linear open air atrium, quite rich, lighted and cheery space. The rest of the residential units form three identical towers, detached from the shell with “piloti” and their structural formation continues the horizontal projections of the terrace flats, without turning into symbollic elements of the complex. The fourth tower is the luxury Raffles Hotel.

In the general formation of the complex, instead of using the recent grandiose and gleeming  architectural tendency that has been dominant over such big investments of the modern world, an approach that derives its power from public motivations and keeps itself away from the habit of the “society of spectacle” has been embraced.