Designs for a new tourist centre in Istanbul's Etiler distrcit
Etiler is one of the relatively new districts of Istanbul. Composed of an only street (Nispetiye) and surrounding low-storey, unpretending building sequences from approximately 40 years ago, it has had its share of both the general effects of enlarging borders of the city and regional transportation resources created by two belt highways, and has grown far beyond the expectations of past 40 years.
Although some parts developed after legalisation as in many districts of the city, the closeness of the sociological layers and significant planning of the given enlargement provided a homogeneous building pattern. Neither turning into a kind of tourist area in last 10 years, nor the extensive commercialisation inherent in the given period could damage this homogeneity. Whatever their function is, either residential or office buildings, even more recreational ones, the buildings in Etiler substantially can not differentiate from each other without the exception of some new examples. Variations in the topography and the perceptions of perspective that differentiate in every point nearly paste the buildings onto each other and create identical 'organic masses'.
Being at the north end of the district where the toll booths of TEM Highway and Fatih Sultan Mermet Bridge were located, Etiler Tourism Center offers various transportation possibilities from different levels with 16 m level difference from end to end. It was proposed that excessive perpendicularity and congestion problems of the surrounding roads will be solved with the new route plans prepared for this region. The junction of the highway will be calmed and improved.
In contrast to the high hills around, the construction site is situated on the quite low level. In the nearby topography, which is approximately at the 90 - 100m level reaching 125m at the northeast part, this area is a kind of cavity with its 76m level. By means of this situation, the building which has a relatively high mass is not separated from nearby environmental texture and building pattern, moreover it nearly disappears in the Boğaziçi silhouette. Except for Paşabahçe shore, the building mass will not be perceived from the sea level at the Anatolian side, it will only be perceived from the highest districts of it.
The entrance at the lower part of the site provides a direct and smooth access to the social spaces of the hotel. The design at this level offers a large, semi-open and sheltered common space, supported by a cafeteria which is accessible directly without entering the building.
The underground garage which situated in the lower levels can also be accessed from this area. The entrances of the relatively less crowded spaces such as the lobbies of the hotel and the apart units were designed at the upper level of the site (92 level). The service entrance of the hotel was arranged in a way that will not disturb surrounding houses.
The hotel building designed within Etiler Tourism Center is assertive about its situation, its function and its management motivations. This complex, which will stand in front of the most important and newest gate of Istanbul, was aimed to be an image of modern Istanbul with its architectural characteristics.