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RMJM win Financial District Competition, Turkey, Europe

20 Oct 2008

Atasehir District

Design: RMJM Architects

RMJM wins developer competition to design luxury, landmark community in Istanbul’s new financial district

RMJM has won a developer-led competition to design a 340,000-square-metre mixed-use development with an estimated value of US$1 billion (nearly £600 million) in a section of Istanbul that the Turkish government intends to transform into the city’s new financial district and a business centre for the country.

Map shows development site in Istanbul and adjacent new financial district:
Atasehir Istanbul

VARYAP, the real estate development and construction arm of Turkey’s VARLIBAS GROUP INTERNATIONAL, and the developer behind one of Turkey’s largest recent housing developments, has selected RMJM to design a mixed-use community and a school on a highly visible 26-acre site located adjacent to the main road between Istanbul and Ankara. The site is in the Atasehir district of Istanbul, on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus, an area intended to become Istanbul’s new financial centre. The mixed-use project will include residential, commercial, retail, recreation facilities and will serve as many as 10-15,000 people when completed.

“We’re pleased that our concept was selected from among many other worthy submissions, but even more excited that RMJM will have an opportunity to create a landmark community in Istanbul’s up-and-coming financial district,” said Chris Jones, RMJM’s Urban Studio Director and Design Principal. “We will respond with a design that simultaneously addresses Istanbul’s culture, climate, architectural heritage and cosmopolitan attitude, and will maximize panoramic views of the Bosphorus, Marmara Sea and Prince’s Island.”

M. Erdinç Varlibas, CEO of VARYAP, which hosted the design competition, added: “We were looking for architects who understand how to create landmark places – truly unique environments. I think what we will achieve here will radically transform the thinking in Istanbul and Turkey about high-end property development and design. It will be of the same caliber as many of the internationally recognized, cutting-edge projects being designed today in Dubai, London and New York City.”

Details of the design will be released in Winter 2008/2009.

The Atasehir district will become Istanbul’s new financial centrer – potentially surpassing the existing financial center in the Levant district of the city. Development of Atasehir, which is located on the “Asian side” of the city, was jump-started in 2007 when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed the corporate headquarters of several banks to relocate from Ankara to Istanbul in an effort to create more synergy and advance the financial sector.

From a transportation standpoint, Atasehir is ideal for development as it is located at the intersection of Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Istanbul’s new subway projects, and on the main road between Istanbul and Ankara. Ziraat Bankas?, Halkbank and Vak?fbank are all expected to relocate from Ankara, as are the Turkish Central Bank, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and Capital Markets Board (SPK). The Mass Housing Administration (TOK?) is carrying out construction of the centre. The relocation is expected to be completed by 2010.

Atasehir District Istanbul image / information from RMJM Architects 201008

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