LILA 2024 — Call for entries now open!

Zorlu Center

designed by /

Location: Istanbul / Turkey / Type: Public Gardens / Roofs / Built: 2013 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on June 1, 2015

DS Architecture – Landscape: The aim of the project is to design Zorlu center, as an alternative urban space for Istanbul. The main feature of the plantation language is to treat the landscape as a succession of Bosphorus grove and yet to perceive it as an integral part of Istanbul. Extroversion was adopted rather than introversion. The green shell which surrounds the structure in third dimension associates with the hill of Istanbul that was once used as the recreation areas of the city. This new built up niche, is adopted as an urban square that will turn out to a new social experience and yet, it is erected as a new kind of nature that will erase the existing idea of shopping mall.

Zorlu Center which is one of the most significant investments located at the heart of business and urban milieu of Istanbul, is a unique project in terms of smooth connections of its surroundings. In addition, by means of green areas and direct connection to the subway, it might be considered as a part of the existing urban landscape. Zorlu Center is located in Levent / Istanbul a central location, close to the bridge and important districts of the city. It rests on a total area of 105000m² and with its floor gardens; it is coming up to 100000m² of designed landscape areas. As a result of its settlement on possibly the highest profiled site in Istanbul, it has the chance to have an excellent Bosphorus and the city view. Zorlu Center shelters a base structure that is also the substructure of the landscape topography and four towers rising on it. Due to its geometrical surfaces, the landscape roof, so called ‘The Shell’, is the most significant part of the project. And yet the lost green space on the ground is regained through the landscape design on the shell. Even though, each component of the project aims carefully to be a part of the nature, seven main fields come forward as a result.

1. The planting design which contributes both to the landscape of Istanbul and surrounding highways, provides a herbal filter to the drawbacks of those roads.
2. The recreation area functions as a close up garden of the residential area. Places like swimming pool and children’ club that are located in this area aim to support the natural environment without deviating the succession of the garden settled in an artificial topography.
3. The square, which functions as a public and a semi-public space, a meeting place for the city, provides a demonstration area in which water plays a major part.
4. The courtyard that allows alternating functions is the extension of the main square. The well known plant of Istanbul; Pinus pinea is used as the main tree of this space.
5. The facades of the building are treated as the parts of the nature that open into the private gardens of the buildings and the hotel. While these areas are fully designed as a part of nature, the environment that is created allows both water conservation and a new microclimate.
6. The main holistic characteristics of the project are the courtyard and the residential terraces. The plantation islands that reflect the light are located on the thin water surfaces. These islands which are the main elements of the courtyard might be considered as the most remarkable approach of the project. The residential gardens, on the other hand, with their panoramic position that controls the overall landscape, have a microcosm quality.
7. The valley park might be taken into consideration as a garden collection that is fully themed of Istanbul and as the most valuable and important acquisition of Istanbul.

Landscape, which is the most important feature of this private investment, is displayed as a usual detail of the architecture and yet provides Istanbul a semi-public private area.


Project name: Zorlu Center
Project type: Mixeduse Project (retail, housing, office, recreational, commercial, cultural center, hotel)
Investor: Zorlu Real Estate Development
Architectural Project: Emre Arolat architects & Tabanlıoğlu Architects
Landscape Project: DS Architecture – Landscape
Landscape Architect of Record/Firm: Deniz Aslan / DS Architecture – Landscape
Lead designer: Elif Çelik
Design Team: Saime Selda İpek, Deniz Tümerdem, Zeynep Emektar
Deniz Subaşı, Doğan Onur Araz
Scope: Landscape Project + Application consultancy
Project Location: Levent / Istanbul / Turkey
Area: Site:12.840 m² / Construction Site: 91.868 m²
Project Year: 2009 – 2013
Photography Credit: Cemal Emden
Text Credits: Deniz Aslan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *