HOK Breaks Ground On Istanbul Finance Center

One of the world’s largest new financial-center projects is beginning to take shape as construction crews recently began clearing space for a 45 million-square-foot development on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. According to HOK, the design firm that drew it up, the $2.6 billion International Finance Center will have a number of environmentally sustainable features.

Details, however, remain sketchy regarding the renewable energy sources that are being promised for the massive development, scheduled to be completed in 2016. Preliminary drawings for the complex show ample use of green roof technology to collect stormwater runoff, provide an extra layer of insulation and reduce the heat-island effect.

The master plan for HOK's 170-acre International Finance Center in Istanbul. Image via HOK.

The master plan for HOK’s 170-acre International Finance Center in Istanbul. Image via HOK.

The plan for the 170-acre site calls for several eco-friendly infrastructure improvements, including a new subway line, a new water system and various data security systems for the many financial firms expected to fill in the various high-rise office towers. Sketches also show several open spaces for public parks, as well as a wide greenbelt that encircles the entire development.

An artist's rendering of one of the planned public plazas. Image via HOK.

An artist’s rendering of one of the planned public plazas. Image via HOK.

Once completed, the financial center, located between the Ataşehir and Ümraniye districts, will accommodate about 30,000 people each day and will include residential, retail, hotel and conference space. HOK’s master plan is divided into four districts focusing on culture, commerce, civic functions and government.

Once completed in 2016, most of the buildings in the 45 million square foot center will have green roofs. Image via HOK.

Once completed in 2016, most of the buildings in the 45 million-square-foot complex will have green roofs. Image via HOK.

Istanbul, a metropolis of 13.5 million residents, is a key part of the Turkey’s goal to expand its economy to one of the top 10 largest in the world in the next 10 years. Currently, it is ranked as the 17th largest economy. Istanbul is also in the running to host the 2020 Olympic Games, so infrastructure development is a high priority for the city.

HOK said that Turkish construction firm Akdeniz Group has begun excavation work on the site. The engineering company Arup will also provide a variety of sustainability, IT, communications and security design services as the project moves forward.

Randy Woods is a Seattle-based writer and editor with 20+ years of experience in the business publishing world. A former managing editor of Seattle Business, iSixSigma, Claims and Waste Age magazines, he has covered topics that include newspaper publishing, entrepreneurism, green businesses, insurance, environmental protection and garbage hauling (yes, really). He also contributes to the Career Center Blog for The Seattle Times and edits a photography magazine called PhotoMedia. When not working, he likes to hide out in Seattle movie theaters and attend film festivals—even on sunny days.