The city of Istanbul has lost most of it its green space due to poor urban planning and unpermitted construction. In the last 50 years the population of the city has exploded, growing from 1.5 million in 1960 to more than 15 million inhabitants today. This has led to a significant deterioration in air and water quality, and an unmitigated loss of habitat. One & Ortaköy is an attempt to reclaim much-needed green space and provides a compelling built example of how new construction incorporating tenets of sustainability can increase the quality of urban life.
One & Ortaköy is a newly constructed housing complex in the Istanbul neighborhood of Ortaköy. The project consists of two buildings; one building is private residential condominiums, and the other is reserved for student housing for nearby universities, managed by Republika
. Nestled next to a hillside, the project is an iconic step forward in an area blighted by unplanned growth.
GAD Architecture’s optimizes the use of the building’s programs distributed throughout the site. The One & Ortaköy project’s form, facade and overall organization were developed through a series of experimental strategies influenced by the site’s context and the desire to use every available building surface from the roofs, vertical surfaces and balconies down to the below grade spaces as opportunities for providing greenery and amenity.
Conceived of as a green recreational area, the roof terraces include a running track, swimming pool and extensively planted gardens. These green roofs provide a number of important uses; they lessen the "heat island" effect by providing shade and an additional layer of insulation, filtering pollutants, absorb and filter rainwater which is then stored and re-circulated for irrigation, and eventually these roofs will create habitat for nesting birds and flora. Visually these rooftop gardens serve to blur the building profiles, lessening the scale of the buildings and merge them with the surrounding topography.
A facade of regionally quarried sandstone wraps both buildings, providing a visually "soft” skin that blends with the natural hillside setting. The undulating surface treatment of the facade provides shade and opportunities for vertical vegetative plantings on alternating floors, allowing greenery to spill over balconies as hanging gardens.
Large openings at the ground floor allows light and air into the below grade levels, and the combination of gabion stone walls and vertical garden walls transform subterranean service and recreational areas of the building into and indoor/outdoor garden spaces.