Cendere Valley Housing Complex

2017, İstanbul

Client: Nef & Eczacıbaşı

Location: Kağıthane, Istanbul I Turkey

Program: Mixed use

Year: 2017

Size: 192.120 m2

Status: Proposal project

Team: Ayça Taylan, Zeynep Şankaynağı, Nail Egemen Yerce, Tarık Keskin, Melike Kavalalı


Cendere Valley which had been used as an agricultural zone in the last period of the Ottoman Empire had become an industrial district after the 1950s. The fact of this area being once out of town but now having become downtown, required the decentralization of the industrial functions.

Based on the necessity of redefining the identity of this zone; we worked on the concept of this project located on the land where Eczacıbaşı serum factory and Eczacıbaşı girl volleyball team’s hall are today.

While the new municipal plan had reserved this area for offices and residential purposes, it was giving a construction authority that would lead to a high density urban area next to the river, where it was possible to build up till 35 meters of height on the river side and 60 meters of height on the Kemerburgaz Street side.

Even though keeping the actual volleyball hall at its original place was considered as on option in the beginning, the idea was quickly left behind since it was understood and accepted that given the restraints of this site keeping the hall as it is, would have caused even a denser urban texture here.

The negative effects of the construction authority, legitimized here by the municipality which would result in super high density zones in such an important area for the city, were explained thoroughly to the client. After long discussions, it was finally agreed upon to work on a scheme with one third lower density.

Without ignoring the client’s expectations, but protecting the rights of the users and the people living in the surroundings, a plan scheme which would expand the green and public areas was proposed. Various mass studies were done to optimize the placement of the blocks and finally the decision of creating inner courtyards around which the residential blocks would be settled without obstructing each other’s view, was embraced.

Visual contact with the surroundings was extended thanks to the connection of the inner courtyards with the river line throughout the passages and the pedestrian flow enabled between the street and the river. As a planning decision, the upper parts were to be only used for residential purposes; but the base part of the blocks was planned for offices and housing usage. 

Thanks to the terraced floors and inner gardens on each floor, green areas were brought up to the upper levels in the section plane, hence various social areas and breathing points were created on each floor for the users. Keeping the residential bloks lower on the river side and differentiating the height levels of the blocks resulted in a powerful silhouette effect.

Withdrawals on the upper levels, galleries, volumetric voids and the balconies defined by the framing system in the facade  were planned to enhance the dynamism intended in the architectural composition.