Location:Istanbul, Turkey
Type:Greenfield Villages
Year Design:1992
Status:Largely Complete
Size:525 Acres
Contact:Kemer Yapi Ve Turizm, A.S.
Esat Edin

This project was commissioned to provide the Turkish with a viable alternative to American style suburban development. A 525-acre forested district north of Istanbul, Kemer Country has as its focal point a 25-acre village built in the shadow of the 16th-century Turkish aqueduct, Uzun Kemer. The village consists of 129 residential units and will include a school, shops, and a meeting hall. An additional 200 units, grouped in hamlets, are distributed among the remaining 500 acres of hillside.

The houses are based on 13 models, which were inspired by regional types and which vary in form according to their placement relative to the street and other buildings. The arrangement of the village units is conceived to reflect a traditional Turkish urban character, but it also manages to address aesthetic and climatic concerns that include: defining certain vistas; establishing urban amenities, such as squares; maximizing sunlight in the gardens; preserving existing trees; and blocking the cold north winds. Attention was given to the hierarchy of the streets and alleys to encourage pedestrian flow while calming automobile traffic.

Particular care was taken to create the types of formal and informal public spaces that are typically found throughout Istanbul. Because the separation of public and private spaces is a critical concern in Turkish urbanism, continuous walls connect the houses throughout the village. The walls serve both to define the public arena and to create private outdoor spaces in the form of enclosed courtyards and side gardens.

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