Sapphire Tower

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Height: To Tip
261 m / 856 ft
Height: Architectural
261 m / 856 ft
Sapphire Tower Outline
Height: Observatory
234.9 m / 771 ft
Floors Above Ground
Floors Below Ground
# of Elevators
Tower GFA
165,139 m² / 1,777,541 ft²
# of Apartments
# of Parking Spaces


Official Name Sapphire Tower
Other Names Istanbul Sapphire
Structure Type Building
Status Completed
Country Turkey
City Istanbul
Street Address & Map Buyukdere Avenue
Postal Code 34394
Building Function residential
Structural Material concrete
Proposed 2006
Construction Start 2006
Completion 2010
Official Website Sapphire Tower
Rankings Click arrows to view the next taller/shorter buildings
Global Ranking #383 Tallest in the World
Regional Ranking #15 Tallest in Europe
National Ranking #4 Tallest in Turkey
City Ranking #4 Tallest in Istanbul

Companies Involved

Owner Biskon Yapi A.S.
Developer Kiler GYO.
Design Tabanlioglu Architects
Structural Engineer
Design Balkar
MEP Engineer
Design GN Engineering
Main Contractor Biskon Yapi A.S.
Material Supplier
• Cladding Schüco
• Paint/Coating Jotun
• Sealants Dow Corning Corporation

About Sapphire Tower

Istanbul Sapphire emerges as the first high-rise residential tower in the city’s commercial district. The building rises in agreement with the surrounding high-rise office towers but still maintains a human scale by means of internal vertical gardens. The residents can thus open their windows to their terraces or gardens even at the highest levels. Housing 187 apartment units of varying size, they are designed to be flexible for combining or dividing further in the future.

The building façade consists of two independent shells. The interiors are protected from adverse weather conditions and noise by the outer shell. The space created between the two shells is used as gardens and terraces for the apartments. These spaces are broken into three story components, a garden floor and two floors with terraces overlooking the gardens. Each atrium serves nine or fewer apartments depending on the unit sizes.

The garden zone is naturally ventilated though louvers which take air in at the ground level and exhaust through the top. Louvers automatically open and close according to weather conditions. The interior temperature is maintained to be equal to the exterior temperature and a 25–30% saving in air conditioning can be achieved. These three-story garden atriums create a unique living experience for a tall building, giving residents the feeling of sharing a three-story house with close neighbors as is common in traditional Istanbul houses in the country side. In addition to the inner gardens, every ninth floor in the building accommodates various common recreational areas, such as a mini golf course at 187 m (614 ft) high, swimming pool, etc.

The building has a concrete structure supported by steel elements. The thin building form is supported by two cores at the narrow ends. The building was planned with four separate zones, separated by the common recreational areas, these buffer zones also house the maintenance and support facilities and the mechanical systems of the building.

Viewed from the outside, the building tapers as it rises upward. Below the fourth level, the building expands outward and the glass covering the surface of the building sweeps out and extends horizontally forming a skirt to the building. This covers the cafés, bars, restaurants, cinemas and stores, maintaining the integrity of the retail and social zone. The retail area is perceived as a multi-layered, dynamic, large single space. This wide space benefits from natural light, and in addition to retail in this broad area, four levels of shopping are included in the basement levels.

CTBUH Initiatives

Sapphire Tower Chosen as Featured Building
May 2012 – Featured Tall Building

CTBUH Releases Study on the Past, Present and Future of the European Skyscraper
Jun 2013 – CTBUH Journal Paper

CTBUH Releases Analysis of Global Population and Tall Buildings
Apr 2011 – CTBUH Journal Paper

Research Papers

The Past, Present and Future of the European Skyscraper
Jun 2013 – CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue II

Tall and Urban: An Analysis of Global Population and Tall Buildings
Apr 2011 – CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue II

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