Meridyen 34
Le Méridien Hotel Istanbul Etiler, 2007

Istanbul, Turkey

Etiler is one of the relatively new districts of Istanbul. Composed of an only street (Nispetiye) and surrounding low-storey, unpretending building sequences approximately 40 years ago, it had its share from both the general effects of enlarging borders of the city and regional transportation resources created by two belt highways and grown far beyond the expectations of past 40 years.

Although some parts developed after legalization as such in many districts of the city, closeness of the sociological layers and significantly 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 commercialization 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. Variability of the topography and the perceptions of perspective that differentiate in every points, 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 site offers various transportation possibilities from different levels with 16 meters 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 calm down with this arrangement and flowing of the traffic without interruption will be provided.

The main input of the design was the search of a mass, that will change surrounding building scale as an advantage of the building laws, will not go against that above-mentioned homogenous context, on the contrary will include that context by reinterpreting and will not be estranged to its location. In this sense, plasticity etudes that belong to different architectural tropism have been done. At the last phase of this search, in order to prevent the compactness caused by being multi-storey, the vertical fragmentation of the mass was proposed to simplify the relationship between the mass and surrounding building environment. Three masses, having the scale of surrounding buildings approximately, were separated from each other vertically and large terrace gardens were created in-between. In common with the other parts of the city, this attack which even more liberalizes the buildings from each other strengthened the dialogue of the building with its location as a reference to environmental texture. Exterior surfaces of the masses were differentiated in such a way that increases the effects of this separation. Terrace gardens planted intensively and social spaces open to these gardens were aimed to be usage examples being alternatives to crowded lifestyle at the city center.

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 90-100 meters level -it reaches to the 125 meters height through the northeast part- this area is a kind of cavity with its 76 meters 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

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the sea level at the Anatolian side, it will only be perceived from the highest districts of it.