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Polat Levent / Istanbul Levent


Polat Levent

Istanbul Levent
Project Team:
Semih Acar, Oguz Cankan, Ogun Tuzcuoglu, Ece Nur Honca, Konuralp Senol, Hasan Berk Aksoy, Ibrahim Biber, Ertac Vural, Halit Deniz Topaloglu, Sena Akcicek Publishing: Gokhan Karakus, Sinem Altay, Ece Baskan, Mina Barut, Hilal Agaccioglu, Gizem Geylan & GAD
Building Type:
Residential, Retail
Construction Area:
25000 m2
Project Site Area:
2360 m2

Revolutionizing Istanbul's Urban Residential Architecture: The Polat Levent Exclusive by GAD

A New Architectural and Natural Icon in the Heart of Istanbul

GAD Architecture's Polat Levent Exclusive is a landmark of Istanbul's architectural evolution. Situated in Levent, a vibrant urban center, this project harmoniously melds historical context with modern innovation. From a remote, forested area, Levent has evolved into a bustling metropolitan hub, with the Polat Levent Exclusive marking a significant milestone in this transformation. The collaboration between GAD and Polat Gayrimenkul symbolizes architectural progress, catering to Istanbul's diverse and growing needs while respecting its rich historical and environmental heritage.

Location of the Project, Levent District of Istanbul

Levent, as of 2023, stands as a primary urban center in Istanbul. Initially a secluded, forested area near the Belgrade Forest and the Bosphorus Strait, it became part of Istanbul proper in the 1950s due to urban expansion. Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Levent has witnessed numerous transformations, mirroring Istanbul's rapid growth into a leading global metropolis.

In the 1970s, Levent hosted industrial and factory buildings along Büyükdere Avenue, which evolved into business centers in the 1980s. The 1990s saw the emergence of shopping centers and office buildings, marking a continual pace of change. Despite these developments, Levent retained its residential character. While Büyükdere Avenue became a bustling urban hub, the residential districts on either side preserved their neighborhood essence.

GAD's Polat Levent Exclusive Project was designed to meet these evolving area needs. The architecture offers solutions for long-term residents and newcomers alike, balancing access to office and commercial zones with a modern, local character. The Polat Levent Exclusive combines unique architecture, infrastructure and technical solutions with diverse residential floor plans, spacious balconies, and access to water and greenery. This architectural blend provides a sanctuary from urban hustle while maintaining a central city presence, adding a breath of natural air to one of Istanbul's most prestigious neighborhoods. The Polat Levent Exclusive located near major high-capacity transportation hubs and networks such as underground metro stations and bus stops ensures quick access to the Istanbul metropolitan area. Proximity also to pedestrian friendly market areas in Levent and 4. Levent reinforce the urban character of life at the Polat Levent Exclusive.

Architectural Process: Parametric Design and Artificial Intelligence

The design process by GAD for Polat Levent Exclusive employed a biophilic perspective and parametric architecture analysis in the concept phase, considering the client brief, context, and program. Key design parameters like building footprint, floor heights, and residential apartment requirements were parametrically analyzed to generate concept designs. Subsequent stages refined building massing, layout, and floor plans, integrating planning, ecology, climate comfort, and ergonomic considerations. Design studies, including those for sunlight, wind, and occupancy-vacancy ratios, were optimized using programmed prediction simulations. This process initially produced seven distinct models, narrowed down to three, with one selected through detailed modeling and client discussions.

GAD's resulting architecture for Polat Levent Exclusive is a 14-story luxury apartment complex embodying a new urban residential model. The design integrates environmental considerations, like glass facades inviting sunlight, with expansive indoor spaces that seamlessly merge interiors with exterior balconies. Located between Levent's office buildings and a low-density residential district, the building offers unique views of the Bosphorus and the city skyline. The architecture, with its distinctive natural stone facade featuring complex biophilic geometry, incorporates organic forms, large balconies, and terraces. This facade, with its undulating shapes, provides outdoor spaces enriched with natural water features and green floral textures on each floor. The sunlight-catching geometry creates a unique architectural style that harmoniously unites nature and urban elements, inspired in part by Levent's modernist buildings of the 1950s and the quest for new urban residential models.

Architecture with Biophilic Design

The design underscores the growing importance of greenery, sunlight, and open spaces, especially post-COVID pandemic. The Polat Levent Exclusive showcases this through its distinctive natural stone exterior with biophilic geometry that varies organically towards the upper floors. The facade features a honeycomb-supported laminated mechanical natural stone structure, paired with sliding glass doors equipped with solar control and high color rendering value, essential for biophilic design. The natural stone facade undulating in a non-repetitve organic pattern across the exterior of the building generates outdoor spaces for daily living protected from wind and sun while providing for intriguing contrasts to the orthogonal facades of the surrounding modernist building geometries. The inclusion of noise-reducing glass significantly lowers internal noise levels, enhancing the acoustic quality of the living spaces.

During the design process, balcony parapets were shaped to optimize landscape views, with consideration for ambient noise levels. The building's form was influenced by the north's exposure, balancing limited direct sunlight on upper floors with floor retractions. The use of the podium above commercial space as expansive gardens for 3rd-floor apartments and the commercial areas on the ground level, determined based on residents' daily needs, enhance the building's self-sufficiency. The rooftop pool, designed with wind analysis in mind, is shielded from direct wind, and post-tension systems are employed to strengthen the balconies. Post-tension (tensioning) systems have been utilized to enhance the concrete resistance of these expansive, cantilevered balconies with post-tension cables having been employed in the supporting columns and beams, connecting the structural elements and increasing the building's rigidity to realize these dramatic structures that give's the building its spatial and material character.

The 14-story design features individual pools on terraces and sky gardens, offering outdoor living with access to Istanbul's vital Bosphorus air and wind. The social facility on the roof prioritizes residents' well-being, enriching their social life through common space. The ground level hosts a commercial arcade that blends with the area's small-scale urban character, facing a park and restaurants. This area, curated by GAD, will also feature urban public art, unifying architecture, art, and nature as well as providing shops for artisans and makers. The social element has been prioritized throughout the architecture by GAD from the large balconies and terraces on each part to green zone on the roof and podium to the vital arcade at street level.


The Polat Levent Exclusive, situated on a 2,360m2 plot, presents a mix of apartment options, commercial and office spaces, and garden areas, introducing a new organic biophilic design and architecture typology for Istanbul using advanced parametric and Artificial Intelligence based design methods with innovative use of structure with the iconic natural stone facade. The 14-floor, 86-key Polat Levent Exclusive aims to provide a contemporary urban residential model, optimizing sunlight and air currents for comfort and sustainability balanced the city with Istanbul's unique nature. Positioned between Levent's office buildings and a low-density residential area, it offers diverse views of picturesque Istanbul landscapes from each floor.

In summary, the Polat Levent Exclusive by GAD Architecture transcends being just a building; it is a symbol of modern urban living that respects and reflects Istanbul's dynamic urbanism. Bridging commercial and residential realms in Levent, it embodies luxury, functionality, and biophilic design. This project marks a new chapter in Istanbul’s architectural narrative, harmonizing urban demands with the intrinsic human need for nature, open spaces, and communal life. Its innovative design and integration of art and nature render the Polat Levent Exclusive a contemporary architectural landmark and a new model for residential living in one of the world's most vibrant cities.


(1) “Kemal Ahmet Aru and Levent, A Successful Republic Project”

Exhibition Catalog and Book, Anonym Published by MSGSÜ-TMMOB ISTANBUL, 2012

(2) Open Permeable Neighborhood Concept and Definition of Design Criteria for the Development of

an Open Permeable Neighborhood System in the Levent Region.

Article By Melih Birik, Ömer Devrim Aksoyak, Özlem Çalışkan Istanbul University Faculty of

Architecture, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Istanbul.



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