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Location: Esenler, Istanbul
Project type: Education
Employer: İBB
Project year: 2021
Construction area: 5500 m²
Land area: 4000 m²
Status: National Competition 1st Honorable Mention

Project team: 
Kemal Bal Nil Bıçak, Erol Kalmaz, Kemal Doruk Kaplan, Ergin Kalmaz


Scale to Scale

Neighborhood is at the heart of the hierarchy of scales from a single room to the city. Neighborhoods create the cores of the culture we feel we belong to without describing them. We learn to greet, solidarity, shopping, neighborliness, kindness, in short, living together in the neighborhood first. The life, which is knitted from street to street, appears as a city.  


Neighborhood: Going Out and Getting to Know

In this theme, we have defined the neighborhood through two sensitivities: going out to the street and getting to know it. In this spatial setup oriented to the scale of the neighborhood, each of the Neighborhood House, Short Break Center and Yuvamiz Istanbul programs should open directly to the street, should be transitive even though they have independent entrances, thus creating the possibility of meeting, getting to know and meeting. The search in question coincided with the two potentials of the earth and found its direction.


The Two Potentials of the Place

1. Level Difference: The 7 m level difference between Atışalanı Street and Köyiçi Street increased the quantity of floor planes opening to the street at different levels and the opportunities for garden/balcony/terrace.

2. Implementation Development Plan foresight: Currently, the parcel is the only urban space against the high-rise construction around it. This parcel, on which a construction area of approximately 5000m² will rise, will necessitate the creation of urban spaces in its place. In accordance with this requirement, the zoning plan has planned the island between Güler and Gülser Streets, the two islands in the southwest of the parcel, and one corner of the parcel island as a park. We took the horizon of this plan as a basis for the site plan decisions.


We explored ways to make these two potentials of place a value for the project, and two key decisions emerged during the design process.  

1. We have determined the Köyiçi Street between Atışalanı Street, where there is heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and Köyiçi Street, which is closer to the neighborhood scale, as the main face of the building, together with the parking area opposite. We opened the interrupted flow by shifting the border wall of the Police Building to leave the parking and maneuvering area needed by the Police.

We provided independent entrances for the 2nd Neighborhood House, the Short Break Center and our Home in Istanbul from Köyiçi and Kyrgyz streets, using the difference in elevation. However, we have associated these three functions with a common entrance and foyer that will enable transitions between each other.


Neighborhood Square, Neighborhood Cafe, Kitchen Workshop and Bazaar Area

We have determined the northwest direction of the competition plot as the direction where the Neighborhood House functions will be opened, together with the Atışalanı Merkez Mosque, the shopkeepers' shops around it, and the park area envisaged by the plan. We have placed the headman's office, the neighborhood cafe and the kitchen workshop at the ground level and just above it, together with its semi-open areas that open to the street. We proposed a kermes/market area to be used as the exhibition and sales area of the kitchen workshop and other art workshops on the border of the park facing the building.  


Library and Neighborhood Terrace

We kept the building low in the direction of the neighborhood square, leaving a clear view between the parking areas on the north-south axis. We opened the library, which is an important component of the Neighborhood House program, to the terrace of the low mass. We placed the periodicals hall directly adjacent to the terrace. We designed an amphitheater for outdoor activities on this terrace.  


Neighborhood Council

In addition to the competition program, we have proposed a Neighborhood Assembly venue that will enable joint decision making and discussion culture on a neighborhood scale. We placed this space in the projection of the library terrace, in an intersection where the headman's office and other administrative areas are located, facing the neighborhood square outside and the common entrance foyer inside.  


Our Home Istanbul, Park and Courtyard

Our Home Istanbul, which has a level entrance from Kirgiz Street, has an internal connection with the Neighborhood House and the library terrace in terms of cafe and kitchen workshop. We have positioned the playground in the Neighborhood House program in this vineyard-space. We opened the nursery multi-purpose hall to the open playground in the direction of the park, the activity rooms to the courtyard, and the dining hall to the landscape elevation in the southeast direction. We furnished the corridors as activity and playgrounds and produced niches with different characters.


Short Break Center and Terrace  

We took the access to the Short Break Center from the +92.00 level of Köyiçi Street and opened the entrance foyer to a gallery space that gives perspective to the neighborhood square through the kitchen workshop. We provided access to the main vertical circulation leading to the library and terrace from the ground level of the center. We also gave a direct connection to the visually impaired reading room in the library by elevator.  By solving the classroom, workshop, dining hall and support volumes of the center in one level, we arranged the terrace roof on the upper level of the nursery to meet the garden need.



Balconies are spaces that inform the street from the life inside at the intersection of the house and the street. In order to increase the relationship with the street and to reflect the inner life of the center to the street on every floor, we surrounded the neighborhoods with balconies and supported the spaces with landscaping.


Existing Trees  

Trees numbered 43-56 with large trunks along Köyiçi Street, trees numbered 31-35 in the nursery courtyard, 42.25-28 on the periphery of Krim Street and 1-5 at the Atışalanı Street end of the building were preserved in the project. It is suggested that the trees numbered 7-24, 29-30, 36-41, 57-63 should be moved to 4 new green areas determined as park areas as per the plan.

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