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Şişli High School


Şişli contains layers of Istanbul’s modernization projects. From it’s beginning in 1920’s with the construction of exquisite western-style apartment buildings, it was claimed to be the new city. 1950’s onwards, it was at the forefront of rapid urbanization with many “gecekondu” neighborhoods, and since 1990’s, it is investing in high-rise office buildings and luxury residences.

To fulfill its promise and increase the quality of life, Şişli needs to invent public spaces within its congested neighborhoods, out of its accentuated topography.

Istanbul at large is a series of valley systems. Typically, the many hills are seen as obstacles, and are obliterated with retaining walls that create yet more barriers.

We propose an ancient but effective use of topography for Şişli High School; terracing the 20-meter drop of the site into classrooms and gardens, the school is not a building alone, but at whole with its landscape. 

Selva Gürdoğan, Gregers Tang Thomsen, Timur Erşen, Canan Erten, İdil Serenyücel, Marta Marszal, Matthias Poen, Beyza Gürdoğan, Hande Karakaş, Derya İyikul, Pelin Serbes, Simon Oberhofer, Patrycja Stal, Tobias Benjamin Bosse

Kerem Piker, Erdem Tuzun

Type: Public Elementary School
Size: 16.000 m2
Client: Şişli Municipality
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Status: Settled, honorable mention