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One & Ortakoy / Istanbul / Turkey


One & Ortakoy / Istanbul

Architectural Project & Design:
Gokhan Avcioglu & GAD
Project Team:
Ozan Ertug, Tahsin Inanici, Gizem Kiroglu, Ertugrul Morcol, Nesime Onel, Baris Ucar
Building Type:
Residential, Dormitory
Construction Area:
56000 m2
Project Site Area:
12000 m2
2012 Green Good Design Awards for One & Ortakoy, The European Centre for Architecture & The Chicago Athenaeum
As Istanbul’s population increases and its environment changes the rapid rise of new construction in the city has become a sensitive issue. This is especially true for the developing business districts on the Levent-Maslak axis and the areas on either side of the Bosphorus bridges. In these areas where the increasing density caused by new construction has been criticised for degrading the skyline and ecology, the One & Ortaköy residential project located in Ortaköy in this sensitive zone has with its many sustainable features created an exemplary model for the possibilities of new construction in Istanbul.
This mixed-use project designed in harmony with the adjacent Bosphorus hillside and urban surroundings is primarily composed of two buildings and a courtyard. The main residential building consisting of four connected cylindrical volumes is connected to the amorphously shaped smaller student dormitory by this courtyard. The overall form of the building, the façade and the organization of the multifunctional general plan have been developed through an experimental design strategy with the functionally separate volumes whose design has been developed with the context and topography in mind. The architecture has been conceived with the firm’s design methods that aims to optimize the programs distributed through the site through the use of different floor plans and a parametric façade treatment. Another one of the main features of the project is the extensive use of landscaping throughout the site including the roof to achieve unity with the surrounding natural topography of Istanbul’s hilly Bosphorus geography. Within this contextual approach the aim of GAD’s design was to create a building that could adapt to all seasons to create flexible living areas throughout the year.
The selection of materials and their application in a free form and flexible were determined with this goal primarily in mind. The facades of the two buildings were completely clad in Ünye stone, a type of yellow beige limestone from the northern Anatolia region of Turkey whose history dates 3 million years. Due to features such as it natural composition, strength, aesthetic durability over the long-term and the design character it gives buildings, Ünye stone has become to be identified as a stone favored on building facades throughout Turkey. Furthermore this stone, which has many different tones, is known for its heat insulation properties in construction keeping interior spaces cool in summer and insulating from cold air in the winter. For GAD, the Ünye stone that covers the diverse shapes of the exterior of the building was used because the stone surface reflects sunlight differently during each of the four seasons of the year giving residents the opportunity to feel the change of seasons.  Also adding to the variety of the experience in time, the differing color tones of each individual stone are also seen more clearly in the morning and late afternoon light. The other building elements were also used with this sense of variety of experience in mind. The glass windows are in different colors, blue, glass and transparent while landscaping consists of perennial tree types complemented by flowers and shrubs whose leaves change color and flower in different times of the year also to emphasize the passage of time in the change of seasons.
In its ecological approach One & Ortaköy is a possible model for the transformation of modern architecture happening in this quickly developing European section of Istanbul. It has it’s primary objective to respectfully integrate with the natural characteristics of its location on the hillside and the surrounding topography by covering its volumes with natural materials and landscaping. The large open roofs of each of the two buildings covered with landscaping provide different amenities for the use of the residents allowing for interaction with all parts of the complex. The roof that contains a walking track, pool and recreation area has a high level of landscaping that visually integrates with the natural topography behind it creating a type of artificial topography. This roof garden conceptually combined with the landscaping on the ground floors and terrace gardens covers the broad reflective surfaces of the building reducing carbon absorption. Areas of the roof terrace covered by the extension of the Ünye stone cladding of the facade over the roof provide shade in the summer months and protection from rain in the winter. The importance of this artificial topography and its integration into the nature of the hillside also derives from the fact that the roof and other surface elements are the most visible aspects of the building from the entrance of the Bosphorus Bridge directly above. And lastly, another important ecological feature is the rainwater collection system of the roof which is used to water the thick plant of the landscaped gardens. One & Ortaköy shows that even in Istanbul’s hodge-podge urban development of the 2010s, it’s possible to generate topographic and ecological sensitive design while creating a visually distinct piece of architecture.