Making Connections

The nature of retail shopping has changed radically since Victor Gruen (1903-1980) designed Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956. Southdale was widely acknowledged to be the first fully enclosed, temperature-controlled mall in the USA. Gruen would later disavow the title ‘father of the shopping mall’ but he was  nevertheless, responsible for the creation of a typology that would be further developed by James Rouse and Benjamin Thompson at Horton Plaza, Gerald Hines at Houston Galleria and John Jerde at Fremont Street, Las Vegas. The idea of the shopping mall and later the festival market place would subsequently grab the imagination of developers and city planners worldwide.

Today, shopping is arguably the fastest growing family-orientated activity in the world. Shopping malls are no longer simply a collection of retail outlets but invariably incorporate hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, bowling alleys, computer games stores, spa’s and many other attractions. In short they have become a major recreational focus and the means to regenerate urban communities.

The Centre is located in a residential neighbourhood in the Avcilar district of Istanbul. The design is an elegant, steel and glass, five-storey ‘U’ shaped box. Subverting the earliest mall concepts, which were inward looking entities, a glazed atrium faces the highway exposing the inner activity of the shopping centre to the gaze of passers by. Above the atrium horizontal louvres prevent excessive solar heat gain and control ingress of daylight.

In a similar manner to Metro Merter, Carrefour and the Kanyon, the mall taps into and enriches the public realm. A projecting ‘box’ marks the main entrance and the roof terrace above the box provides an elevated viewing platform. A ‘street market’ is located in the sub-basement while in front of the mall a broad public plaza hosts community activities. The atrium accentuate the open space rather than the mass of the building.

The Shopping Centre is a further development of Tabanlioglu’s evolving oeuvre of urban malls and aims to connect the interior with the city both visually and physically.

Site Area: 21.700mē
Construction Area: 94.840mē
2005 / istanbul