25.11.2011

Istanbul Sapphire, Turkey

Como capital de tres imperios a lo largo de su historia, en la encrucijada entre Oriente y Occidente, Estambul simboliza la interacción, transformación y desarrollo; ha sido un centro de comercio gracias a su ubicación geográfica; hoy en día la ciudad mantiene esas funciones a través de su Central Business Districts - CBD. En términos de arquitectura, el Büyükdere Boulevard será el primer rascacielos residencial de la ciudad. El complejo de viviendas, ocio y mediano centro comercial está ubicado en el centro administrativo y de negocios. El edificio se eleva en un entorno de rascacielos y conserva su escala humana por medio de la instalación de jardines verticales, donde los residentes pueden abrir sus ventanas a terrazas y jardines, incluso en los pisos más altos, gracias a la fachada de doble capa.

Being the capital to three empires throughout its history, at the crossroad between East and West, Istanbul symbolizes interaction, transformation and development; the City has been the center of commercial control and coordination, thanks to its geography; today the city maintains these functions at its «Central Business Districts- CBD». The Levent-Maslak axis that developed during the last two decades is the main CBD of Istanbul. In the process of becoming a metropolis, and an international hub with a population of more then 10 million people, Istanbul is going through a fast urban transformation, in parallel with the changing economic and social structure. Industrial production zones have started to move to the periphery while administration and control units are getting closer to the city center. Industrial production sector being replaced by the service sector, Büyükdere region has been developing align with the global changes and contemporary needs, as its infrastructure is appropriate in terms of communications and high technology. In the last few decades, especially due to increasing use of automobiles, luxury condominiums have been established in the suburbs of Istanbul, like in many other metropolis around the world. Recently, major investments in residential complexes are also contributing to bringing life back to city center; mix-use complexes and high rise residential towers arise or industrial buildings transform into elegant homes, designer lofts or idiosyncratic spots. The construction of prestigious international buildings adds a permanent economic and aesthetic value to this zone.

In terms of architecture, Büyükdere Boulevard is a competitive environment where Istanbul Sapphire emerges as the first high-rise residential of the city.
As a residential, leisure and middle-size shopping center project located in the «business administration» center of the city, the building rises in agreement with the surrounding high-rises and still in human scale by means of nature-friendly facilities like vertical gardens, where the residents can open their windows to their terraces or gardens even at the highest levels, on account of the double-layered façade.

10 of the 65 floors are below ground and 55 floors are above the ground where the street level entrance from the main street is to the shopping area after a small plaza. The residential units have their private entrances. With the antenna the construction is 261-metre high. The two top floors are reserved for the café and simulation hall where one may experience Istanbul in 3-D, and at the very top the observation deck is open to public.

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Being the highest structure in Maslak, Istanbul Sapphire claims a new way of life relying on the opportunities of contemporary architectural and urban manner, respecting the environmental values of the world.
The building is basically a concrete structure supported by steel elements. The thin building form is supported by the two cores at the narrow ends.
In different levels of the building, there are residences of different sizes with a private terrace or garden; the building is planned as 4 separate housing zones, and in the 4 common areas between the sections; there are various social areas and indoor gardens for the residents of the building: these buffer zones also house the maintenance and support facilities and the mechanical systems of the building.
The 4-meter (gross/net 3.40) high ceilings and floor-to ceiling transparent glass windows benefiting the panoramas to the most, grant ample volumes and optimum daylight. All apartments either have balconies or large decks and gardens; 360 degree spectacle panoramas include the Bosporus, the forest views and the cityscape at the highest point of the city.

The building façade consists of two independent shells. The interiors are protected from adverse weather conditions and noise on account of the outer shell. This transparent shell also cerates a buffer zone between the indoor area and the outside, and has a positive effect on structural solutions.  Most originally, the space created between the two shells is used as gardens and terraces of each apartment; every three floor is a component with a garden floor and two floors overlooking the gardens, around the atrium there are 9 or fewer apartments depending on the size of each unit. The garden zone is naturally ventilated though the louvers taking the air in (at lower lever) and out (at top). The louvers automatically open and close according to weather conditions; the interior temperature is always almost equal to the exterior temperature. Although there is a restriction for balconies above the 11th storey, due to the double façade application, the interior gardens protected by the outer shell provide a unique experiment of being in your private garden in a skyscraper. Living in a tower, yet the feeling is sharing a 3-floor house with close neighbors like in country side or in a traditional Istanbul house.

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Environmental friendly systems of the construction grant low energy consumption. The double façade itself provides a 25-30% saving in air conditioning. Furthermore, the green areas, namely the indoor gardens at various levels, offer a natural and a warm setting for those living at higher levels as well. Besides the inner gardens, every ninth floor recreation areas, such as a mini golf course at 187 meters with a great Bosporus view or a swimming pool overlooking the woods of Istanbul, are programmed.

On the city’s new central business district, alongside the corporate skyscrapers, there are the escalating residential towers. The people who are moving back from gated communities in the outlying suburbs demanded a City life back in the core of the metropolis. For the last five years, Büyükdere region has started to regain its allure by alternative residential developments. Joining the developing elegant and contemporary neighborhood in the booming region, the 261-meter hi-technology Tower possesses a smart cityscape; at the same time its elegant and transparent the structure contributes to the image of the city.

187 apartments – with different floor plans, varying in size basically from 120 m2 to 447 m2, including 1100 m2 penthouses and duplexes – are flexible for unison and smaller divisions, situated at 48 floors of the construction.

Viewed from the outside, the building gets slightly thinner as it rises upward. As of the fourth level, it expands downwards and the glass covering the surface of the building earns a sort curve and then extends horizontally as the skirt of the building, which covers the cafés, bars, restaurants, cinemas and stores, maintaining the integrity of the retail and social zone. This area, designed especially for high-quality brand shopping, is perceived as a multi-layered, dynamic, large single space. This wide space benefits natural light to the maximum extent, and in addition to the stores in this broad area, as of the basement, four levels of shopping zone have been planned in the ground floors.

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In addition to the comfort provided by the modern technology, Istanbul Sapphire has the infrastructure and the location that will ensure easy transportation. Owing to the metro connection and the 6 underground car-park levels, the transportation and the parking problems are solved. A part of the 6-storey underground car park has been reserved as storage areas for the residents and for other storage services.

Being the highest structure of the country, especially after the big earthquake of 1999 in Istanbul, the building is designed according to new earthquake and fire regulations.

The vertical circulation is provided by 14 elevators 8 of which are express elevators at high speed; in addition there are 8 conveyor belts and 13 escalators. 2 elevators have direct access to the very top floor where the restaurant and the observation deck is, the privacy of the residences are preserved by private access.

Central heating and ventilation, security, maintenance services and “intelligent house” system grant a user-friendly environment and easy access. The complex, supported by the recent technologies and professional service administration, offers a comfortable and fashionable life-style. Technological facilities, modern healthy infrastructure and management policy makes the building user-friendly and provides easy maintenance. Starting at the main entrance and the elevator access, digitally controlled systems provide a protected environment, supported by the security personnel as well. There is 24-hour concierge service is ready for operational directives. Immediate services and other facilities granted to the residents of the building, beside the shopping facility.

To motivate a futuristic social mood with its roots back in local traditions, the architectural approach with smart local solutions created an energetic and at the same time serene and easy house-life in Sapphire where one steps in to new way of living and become a member of younger generation aiming high.

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