Kanyon, one of Europe’s largest mixed-use districts, introduces a new concept for urban living in Levent, Istanbul’s central business district. The Jerde Partnership designed the state-of-the-art project to combine over 835- thousand square meters of modern offices, luxury residences with local and upscale retailers in an organic, open-air design that includes an amphitheater, plazas and rooftop park spaces where workers, residents and visitors can gather. The unique design, which is distinct from Istanbul’s many mixed-use projects and enclosed shopping malls, has helped attract stylish residents and many wellknown retail brands that are new to Turkey.
An international retail destination, Istanbul is home to two historic bazaars, including Grand Bazaar, which is billed as the world’s oldest and largest covered market, and nearly 30 modern shopping malls that have been built since 1988. More than 15 additional shopping and mixeduse districts are planned for near-term development. In the growing and highly competitive retail market, Kanyon was conceived as a modern mixed-use destination with a retail component that would stand apart from Istanbul’s vast retail offering. The project is an equal joint venture between prominent Turkish companies, Eczacıbaşı Group and İs Real Estate & Investment, a division of İsbank.
Jerde designed Kanyon to be an open, vibrant and green project. The design is envisioned as a family of bold architectural shapes, each housing a different use, that come together to form a dynamic and iconic composition. Between the architectural shapes, the perspectives and views through the project constantly change, resulting in a vibrant and energetic space that engages users. Kanyon’s uses are connected by a central, open-air walkway that carves soft curves in the buildings’ forms, creating a dramatic “canyon” effect. The 600-foot-long canyon connects the office, residential, retail and entertainment uses with an exploratory path that features a variety of courtyards, terraces and other spaces where workers, residents and visitors to the project can interact.
At the heart of the project, the canyon opens to a performance plaza, an amphitheater carved into the base of the project’s entertainment sphere that will be the stage for activities of all sizes, from strolling entertainers to symphonies. Landscaping and water features enhance the project’s open and natural design. The canyon is lined on both sides by the project’s fourlevel retail and entertainment complex. One side features three levels of retail and one level of restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. The four levels are terraced, allowing visitors on each level to overlook the activity occurring in the canyon below. The other side features the four-level entertainment sphere that contains a nine-screen cinema. The roof of the entertainment sphere features a restaurant with outdoor seating that enables diners to view the activity occurring within the project below.
In addition to connecting and activating the canyon, the retail base contains multiple entrances at different levels that knit the project into the city fabric and provide access from the metro, street and parking structure. Unlike Istanbul’s modern enclosed shopping centers, Kanyon has an open-air retail center with heat panels that allow shoppers and visitors to enjoy the fresh air in a climatecontrolled setting that is protected from wind, rain and snow. Its unique design has attracted upscale retailers, including many that are new to Turkey, to its 160 shops. Jerde designed Kanyon’s 26-level tower with a curved façade that reinforces the graceful shape of the canyon and creates an iconic silhouette that will become part of the city’s memorable skyline. The tower is slightly set back from the major boulevard Büyükdere Caddesi, creating an entry plaza that overlooks the long expanse of the canyon and includes a canopy that provides weather protection.
The office tower is glazed with transparent glass that increases visibility and offers the additional benefit of maximum natural light in the work areas. A shading system on the south side of the tower reduces the heat impact from the hot afternoon sun. The air-conditioning system pumps fresh air throughout the building all day. Office floor plates average 3,962 square meters and include modular spaces that offer flexibility for the everchanging needs of leading companies. The residential tower sits atop the four-level retail podium, rising from two to 17 levels in height. Jerde designed the tower with a simple iconic shape that reinforces the flow of the canyon and provides dramatic views into and beyond the project. The residential tower houses 179 units in 21 styles ranging from 262 to 1,249 square meters in size. The step-back pattern of the tower allows for many units to have private balconies, private terraces and gardens. In keeping with the project’s sense of openness, windows in the high-rise residences open, unlike many. The pool area for residents is located to the south behind the terraced housing for maximum sunlight and privacy.
Building materials complement and reinforce the project’s strong architectural forms. The office tower is sheathed in a glass curtain wall with a stone base. Common areas, designed to evoke a canyon, are made from a combination of stone, tile and concrete. The residential tower combines glass, plaster and stone with metal accents. Kanyon has been built to withstand earthquakes exceeding the worstcase scenario for the district.Location: Istanbul, Turkey Architect: The Jerde Partnership Cost: Approximately $200 million
Opening: May 30, 2006
Site area: 7.4 acres
Total Building Area: 255,000 square meters
Office tower: (26 levels) 36,000 square meters
Residences: (2-17 levels) 179 units ranging
80–380 square meters
Retail: (160 stores) 37,500 square meters
Cinema: 9 screens with 1,600 seats
Communal garden space: 3,500 square meters
Fitness club: 4,000 square meters
Community Meeting Room: 1,500 square meters
Parking: 2,300 spaces
Investors: Eczacıbaşı Group,
İş Real Estate & Investment
Executive Architect: Tabanlıoğlu Mimarlik
Interior Designers: (Residences) Sevil Peach Gence
Associates: Brigitte Weber, Landscape Architect
Contractor: Tepe Construction