EXCLUSIVE: Perkins+Will overseeing masterplan for brand new 'Grand Airport City' in Turkey

by Kim Megson | 02 Nov 2015

Global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will are building a new, fully-functioning city surrounding one of the largest airports in the world.

The firm are masterplanning the buildings, infrastructure and transportation networks for a 1,700-acre (690-hectare) development surrounding Istanbul’s New Airport, which is currently under construction.

The huge development, tentatively called the Grand Airport City, has been designed as a centre of economic, cultural and social life on the doorstep of the airport.

In an exclusive interview with CLAD, the project’s design lead, David Green, said: “This has never been done before. We’re building a city from scratch. I really truly believe this will lead to a fundamental change in the way we think about what we do next to airports.

“The basis of what we’re trying to do is create a city embedded in the landscape on the Black Sea coast directly connected to the airport. There will be no distinction; you’ll be able to walk out the terminal into an urban area that has hotels, cultural events, a hospital, a university. We’ll compress the horrible time from clearing security to travelling through traffic and trying to figure out your way. I’m hoping we’ll bring back immediacy.”

The airport terminal exit will lead directly to a promenade into the city. There will be a large botanical public space surrounded by public leisure facilities, including hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and a large concert venue.

“The whole thing is centred around leisure hospitality and cultural resources,” said Green. “If they need to leave the city, high-speed rail connections can take people to Istanbul or Ankara. The idea is you can get off a plane from anywhere in the world and have an entire experience in this district. It’s an operational platform framed around a very rigorously defined public space.”

Perkins+Will are imposing strong environmental standards for the project, The firm is trying to replicate much of the area’s original ecosystem of flora and fauna, while modelling techniques in construction will limit noise pollution from overflying aircraft.

“We're using this as a pilot to create a LEED-neighbourhood designation,” said Green. “It'll be the first one of its kind in the world. Generally, when you think of airport development you don't think of something which is environmentally sustainable, but that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Construction is expected to begin in Q2 2016. Green said that while the city will take up to 20 years to fully complete, the first visitors will be able to arrive within the next three years.

Global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will are building a new, fully-functioning city surrounding one of the largest airports in the world. The firm are masterplanning the buildings, infrastructure and transportation networks for a 1,700-acre (690-hectare) development surrounding Istanbul’s New Airport, which is currently under construction. The huge development, tentatively called the Grand Airport City, has been designed as a centre of economic, cultural and social life on the doorstep of
CLD,HOT,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV,ECO
The Grand Airport City will be minutes away from the New Istanbul Airport, which will be one of the largest in the world
/ Grimshaw Architects
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