You've probably taken a stroll through your local mall on a lazy afternoon, but how about on top of it? Most likely not, unless you want mall security on your tail, but if you're ever in Istanbul, Turkey, you can cross that off your bucket list by visiting this revolutionary hill-shaped shopping complex. Designed by Foreign Office Architects, the sustainable development is blanketed by a massive green roof that doubles as a serene park in the heart of an emerging new Istanbul suburb.
The low-lying retail complex functions as a mall but also as a true urban center in one of the fastest growing areas of Istanbul. The shops are clustered together and the parking lot is underground, freeing up much of the ground floor for a large open square. The unique setup of the mall also allows for skylights to stream daylight into the stores, while also creating visual contact between the retail spaces and the roof gardens.
In addition to the naturally cooling planted roof, Meydan boasts other green features in its design like natural ventilation and heating and cooling via boreholes instead of a traditional mechanical plant (a first in Turkey). All of the public lighting is powered by and solar panels and since many of the spaces are either outside or have skylights, electrical lighting has been minimized. The site scheme also maximizes natural shading and creation of wind shelters through the use of architectural massing.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Green roofs like the one that tops the Meydan shopping center have many benefits including mitigating the urban heat island effect, insulation of interior spaces, and stormwater runoff minimization. The center’s natural cooling, ventilation, daylighting and solar panels also work to cut down on energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
Photos © Friedrich Ludewig