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Bomonti apartments, Istanbul by Swanke Hayden Connell

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[FIRST LOOK] SHCA’s offices in London and Istanbul are collaborating on the design for this 92-unit apartment building in Bomonti, a residential suburb of central Istanbul

SHCA was first commissioned to provide a master-plan for a 2.4 hectare site, which includes several development plots and an existing organic market. Following the delivery of the master-plan, they were commissioned to provide concept designs for the residential apartment building.

The eight-storey building is made up of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and also includes a number of retail units at street level for small cafés, restaurants or specialist food shops.

Patrick Spears, at SHCA comments: ‘Istanbul has a huge population and much of the city’s accommodation is in need of redevelopment and refurbishment. As such, there is significant demand for modern, high-quality apartments such as this. One of the central features of the site is its orientation: it faces west towards a large open space that is occupied by an organic market. It is akin to travelling farmers markets, which have become very popular here in the UK, but in this case, it is the real thing and has been long established in this location.

‘The principal elevations face east and west and in terms of the design approach we decided to have different design solutions for each aspect. On the east side of the building, we adopted a “formal” response to the surrounding streets by arranging the accommodation so the apartments are stacked to form bays that are redolent of town houses, thereby creating a vertical emphasis.

‘On the west side of the building we chose a radically different approach to achieve a more “informal” effect, as this side of the building addresses the public open space of the  organic market. We gave this elevation a horizontal emphasis. This was achieved by grouping the windows in a horizontal arrangement and expressing the articulation of different levels of the building by recesses in the elevation. 

‘Some, but not all, of the apartments on the western side have balconies. We positioned these in a random pattern which we felt was more ‘organic’ and thereby in keeping with the spirit of the market place.’ 

The construction design phase is now underway – the building is scheduled to be completed in 2011.


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