US-based design and planning firm HOK has announced that the construction work commenced on new £1.7 billion ($2.6 billion) Istanbul International Financial Center (IIFC) project in Turkey.
Sprawling over a 170-acre site on the city's Asian side, located between the Atasehir and Ümraniye districts, the site offers easy accessibility and views to the historic centre of Istanbul, the IIFC will house the head offices of the country's financial market governing bodies, state-owned and private banks, and related businesses.
The development will include approximately 45 million square feet of office, residential, retail, conference, hotel and park space. The new IIFC will house four different districts, which will focus on culture, commerce, civic functions and governance.
The project also includes development of new infrastructure, which includes a transportation system featuring a new subway line and station. The masterplan also includes provisions for sustainable power, water, data and security. These systems are integrated into a podium that provides a surface for a new urban park.
The construction of the project is being undertaken by Turkish construction company Akdeniz Group, which has commenced the project with the start of excavation work at the site. The IIFC is planned to come online by the end of 2016.
The master-plan for the new IIFC has been developed by HOK, while Arup has provided a variety of engineering, sustainability, information technology, communications and security design services during the master planning phase.