Istanbul skyscrapers to be demolished to protect historic city skyline


New skyscrapers in the Zeytinburnu area of Istanbul are to be knocked down to protect views of the city’s historic buildings including the Hagia Sofia.

Three skyscrapers in the Onalti Dokuz development will be demolished or partially demolished, after the Turkish government’s ruling.

The residential towers, designed by Alpar Architecture for developer Astay Gayrimenkul, were designed to form the centrepiece for a 12-hectare development site and vary in height from 36 to 27 storeys.

But the decision to allow their construction proved controversial, with critics expressing dismay at the impact of the towers on the city’s skyline, including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque.

The project coincided with the timing of an ultimatum from world heritage body UNESCO , who threatened to strip the city of its status as a World Heritage Site after repeated warnings about its approach to site management and the planning of major new construction projects.