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Private lives in the clouds: Intelligent Buildings
2002 / FEBRUARY

Like human beings, cities are constantly changing, even though this process might seem imperceptible to us as we shuttle back and forth to work by the same route every day. But when we look back over the decades to our childhood, it is obvious that while we chased after balls in streets where cats, dogs, gulls and street vendors added their noises to our shouts, Istanbul was already pregnant with inevitable change. In hindsight Istanbul was even then heading into the mainstream of modern life. Throughout history its geographical position had made this city a link between continents and cultures, and the time had come to open up to international markets and take its place in the hierarchy of world cities. Globalisation was squeezing all cities into similar moulds, and Istanbul, with its wooded hills and leafy suburbs spreading lazily on either side of the Bosphorus, was caught up in the current. Somehow it had to make room for a miniature New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris or Tokyo within its boundaries.

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Private lives in the clouds: Intelligent Buildings
2002 / FEBRUARY

The expanding business sector, with its ever growing number of companies and increasing volume of foreign capital, lent momentum to the transformation in banking, telecommunications, marketing, engineering, advertising, leisure and other areas. This in turn was bringing about a visible change in the human profile of the city. The high ridge above the Bosphorus between Levent and Maslak became the axis of the Istanbul of the future. Istanbul Stock Exchange made its home in İstinye and skyscrapers began to spring up. These districts took precedence not by coincidence but as a direct result of their accessibility from the new motorway and second Bosphorus bridge. The clusters of skyscrapers which underpin the clouds and command views over the entire city contain spacious, light, streamlined offices which reflect the standards of modern business and architecture. The highest point of this high-rise area is the 52-storey tower which houses the headquarters of Is Bankasi, one of Turkey's leading banks.

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Private lives in the clouds: Intelligent Buildings
2002 / FEBRUARY
Others are notably the twin towers of Sabanci Holding, Çanakkale ,IsMerkezi, Yapi Kredi Plaza, Akmerkez in Etiler, Maya Is Merkezi in Esentepe, Plaza Hotel in Balmumcu, Princess Hotel in Maslak, Emlak Bank, Sümerbank, Ulusal Bank, Yurtbank, Garanti Bankasi, Dogus Plaza and the many other ultramodern buildings offering enviable working conditions. Many people choose to live as well as work in intelligent buildings, Elit Residence and Polat Tower Residence being examples of these. Equipped with all the facilities of modern technology and communications, these apartments are not only designed but also operated for maximum efficiency, combining services and technology to achieve the ultimate in modern living. At Elite Residence, located close to the E5 and TEM motorways, and right next to the new underground station, a professional team works wonders with its time-saving services for residents.
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Private lives in the clouds: Intelligent Buildings
2002 / FEBRUARY
There is a childrn'ss club where qualified staff provide baby-sitting and childcare services, and if they want a plane or concert ticket and a myriad other useful services, all they have to do is ask reception. The ground floor of Polat Tower Residence houses the Towerside shopping centre to meet the daily needs of the occupants, a sports centre with indoor swimming pool, squash courts, step room, sauna, fitness room, and massage service, and a multi-screen cinema. Residents use electronic cards to open the doors into the building, so preventing unauthorised entry. Guests are met at reception, and only after residents view them by secret camera and give the go-ahead are they admitted.
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Private lives in the clouds: Intelligent Buildings
2002 / FEBRUARY

Every inch of space in the apartments is made use of in the most efficient way, and their facilities include remote control of equipment, steel safe, hydromassage shower system, hundreds of TV channels broadcast from four different satellites, direct satellite Internet link, sophisticated air-conditioning for all seasons, fan-coil heating and cooling systems, special windows with controlled opening mechanisms, smoke detectors and sprinklers in every room, and colour-vision diaphones linking lifts, halls and apartments. Intelligent buildings like this are formidable showcases of modern technology, and make futuristic living a thing of the present.

* Hande Demirkaya is a freelance writer


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