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KPF lands bank HQ job in Istanbul

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is hoping to secure more work in Turkey after landing the contract to design a new headquarters for Ziraat Bank in Istanbul

The major project is the first commission the global practice, which has offices in London, has had in Turkey.

The two-tower, 200,000m² scheme will be a centrepiece of the country’s much-heralded Istanbul International Financial Centre designed by HOK (pictured).

KPF principal Mustafa Chehabeddine told AJ the practice had been seeking the right project in Turkey for some time.

‘We looked at a lot of opportunities but we wanted to wait for the right one,’ he said. ‘Ziraat Bank scheme will be the first bank to build at the new financial centre; it also has the biggest plot and a significant location.

According to the practice, KPF will draw inspiration from traditional Ottoman architecture for the building in line with the financial district’s aspirations to remain true to the area.

Chehabeddine added that the practice would look for more quality work in the country.

‘Turkey is a great place to work. The projects are abundant but sometimes you have to look hard for quality work,’ he said.

‘The quality is improving. Turkey will be an increasing focus for us but we have to find the right clients.’

KPF has previously designed buildings for financial giants including AIG, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Canada and the World Bank.

AJ reported earlier this year that the Turkish government had launched a £6 billion scheme to build the world’s largest airport.

The airport in Istanbul would be capable of handling 150 million passengers every year.

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