Kanyon an Open Air Design

Kanyon an Open Air Design

Kanyon an open, vibrant and green project, envisioned as a family of bold architectural shapes, each housing a different use that comes together to form a dynamic and iconic composition. Mariya Rasheeda, reports details of this unique state-of-the-art project.

Kanyon an Open Air Design
Kanyon is a city within city and a diverse mix of residential and office, retail stores, restaurants and entertainment components. It is an innovative mixed-use project on an area of 250,000 m2, provides an urban living by offering a healthy, satisfying and modern lifestyle in the heart of Istanbul.

The unique state-of-the-art project is designed by Jerde partnership to combine 2.74 million ft2 of modern offices, luxury residences with local and upscale retailers in an organic open air design that includes an amphitheatre, plazas and rooftop park spaces where workers, residents and visitors can gather.

The functional relationship of the uses and their relationship to the city establish the basic planning armature for the project. The four–level of retail extend the full length of the site and create a podium for residences.


An international retail destination, Istanbul is home to two historic bazaars, including Grand Bazaar, which is billed as the world’s oldest and largest covered market, and nearly 30 modern shopping malls that have been built since 1988. More than 15 additional shopping and mixed-use districts are planned for near-term development. In the growing and highly competitive retail market, Kanyon was conceived as a modern mixed-use destination with a retail component that would stand apart from Istanbul´s vast retail offering. The project is an equal joint venture between prominent Turkish companies, Eczacýbaþý Group and Ýs Real Estate & Investment, a division of Ýsbank.

Kanyon an Open Air Design


Kanyon an Open Air Design
Jerde designed Kanyon to be an open, vibrant and green project. The design is envisioned as a family of bold architectural shapes, each housing a different use, that come together to form a dynamic and iconic composition. Between the architectural shapes, the perspectives and views through the project constantly change, resulting in a vibrant and energetic space that engages users.

Open-air walkway

Kanyon’s uses are connected by a central, open-air walkway that carves soft curves in the building forms, creating a dramatic “canyon” effect. The 600-foot-long canyon connects the office, residential, retail and entertainment uses with an exploratory path that features a variety of courtyards, terraces and other spaces where workers, residents and visitors to the project can interact. At the heart of the project, the canyon opens to a performance plaza, an amphitheatre carved into the base of the project’s entertainment sphere that will be the stage for activities of all sizes, from strolling entertainers to symphonies. Landscaping and water features enhance the project’s open and natural design.

Kanyon an Open Air Design
The canyon is lined on both sides by the project’s four-level retail and entertainment complex. One side features three levels of retail and one level of restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. The four levels are terraced, allowing visitors on each level to overlook the activity occurring in the canyon below. The other side features the four-level entertainment sphere that contains a nine-screen cinema. The roof of the entertainment sphere features a restaurant with outdoor seating that enables diners to view the activity occurring within the project below.

In addition to connecting and activating the canyon, the retail base contains multiple entrances at different levels that knit the project into the city fabric and provide access from the metro, street and parking structure. Unlike Istanbul’s modern enclosed shopping centers, Kanyon has an open-air retail center with heat panels that allow shoppers and visitors to enjoy the fresh air in a climate-controlled setting that is protected from wind, rain and snow. Its unique design has attracted upscale retailers, including many that are new to Turkey, to its 160 shops.

Office Tower

Jerde designed Kanyon’s 26-level tower with a curved façade that reinforces the graceful shape of the canyon and creates an iconic silhouette that will become part of the city’s memorable skyline. The tower is slightly set back from the major boulevard Büyükdere Caddesi, creating an entry plaza that overlooks the long expanse of the canyon and includes a canopy that provides weather protection.

Kanyon an Open Air Design
The office tower is glazed with transparent glass that increases visibility and offers the additional benefit of maximum natural light in the work areas. A shading system on the south side of the tower will reduce the heat impact from the hot afternoon sun. It’s air-conditioning system pumps fresh air throughout the building all day. Office floor plates average 13,000 ft2 and include modular spaces that offer flexibility for the ever-changing needs of leading companies.

Residential tower

The residential tower sits atop the four-level retail podium, rising from 2–17 levels in height. Jerde designed the tower with a simple iconic shape that reinforces the flow of the canyon and provides dramatic views into and beyond the project.

The residential tower houses 179 units in 21 styles ranging from 860 to 4,100 ft2 in size. The step-back pattern of the tower allows for many units to have private balconies, private terraces and gardens. In keeping with the project’s sense of openness, windows in the highrise residences open, unlike many. The pool area for residents is located to the south behind the terraced housing for maximum sunlight and privacy.


Kanyon buildings are built to withstand earthquakes exceeding by 25 percent the worst-case scenario for the district. Kanyon’s engineering design and construction surpass national and international standards, including the 1998 Turkish earthquakes standard; International regulations AC-318-02, UBC, AISC AND FEMA and the Amercan uniform building code.

Building materials

Building materials complement and reinforce the project’s strong architectural forms. The office tower is sheathed in a glass curtain wall with a stone base. Common areas, designed to evoke a canyon, are made from a combination of stone, tile and concrete. The residential tower combines glass, plaster and stone with metal accents. Kanyon has been built to withstand earthquakes exceeding the worst-case scenario for the district.

MGS Architecture January February 2008

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