At 325 m, the building will be Europe’s tallest skyscraper
Completion was originally planned for the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 2023. The project certainly has the potential to adorn the nation: we are talking about the new central bank building (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası, TCMB) in Istanbul, a skyscraper with a height of 325 m and 60 (72? 55?) floors, which will be the tallest building of its kind in Turkey and also in Europe.
Around it, the Istanbul International Financial Center (CBRT) is also being built, with a total area of around 1.5 million m², several other national and international bank buildings, a shopping mall, and a 5-star hotel with 325 rooms, to name just the very large sub-projects.
The central bank tower is built by Vizzion Architects, a company owned by construction mogul Şefik Birkiye, after another firm lost the contract. Birkiye has also planed the new presidential palace Beştepe in Ankara and the government guest house in Marmaris.
The Central Bank tower poses special technical challenges at such a height: The construction had to be earthquake-proof.
A special solution also had to be found because the façade was to have natural stone cladding to convey elegance and stability.The problem here was the weight of the stone at great heights, and the solution came from the Turkish company Silkarstone.
In keeping with the anniversary of the Republic, the company was able to demonstrate that it has joined the top league of natural stone companies worldwide.
It supplied 26,000 m² of its Laminated Stone Panels (LPS). These are large panels of just 5 mm thin stone on a 20 mm thin aluminum honeycomb structure. The whole thing is then anchored to the façade with a steel or aluminum substructure.
In addition to the total square meters, there are 400 m² of curved façade panels. Their production requires special expertise in handling the stone.
Depending on the type of stone, the weight of the LPS starts at 16 kg per m² (plus the anchor construction). In the case of the central bank tower, the brownish marbled limestone Terra Gray was used. Here the slabs weigh … kg per m².
Silkarstone quarries the stone in its quarries near Bilecik, where it is also processed.
The thin stone is then sent to a specialist company, which assembles it with aluminum honeycombs and glass to form larger façade elements. This is the usual technology that has become established worldwide.
It takes another 3 hours by truck from the Silkar plant to Istanbul.
As usual, each individual façade element was checked by inspectors before delivery from the factory. This was preceded by tests on building mockups by the US company Turner Façade Consultants.
Silkarstone has already installed its Laminated Stone Panels in numerous buildings in Turkey, for example in an overhanging roof structure at the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul and at the Istanbul headquarters of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey.
Silkar CEO Erdogan Akbulak says with a grin: “The delay in the construction of the Central Bank Tower was not our fault, we completed our job in ten months as agreed.“ He founded the company together with his brother and manages it.
The central bank will manage its new tower itself and use 24 floors of it. The building includes a parking garage, social facilities, a gym, an infirmary, and a museum.
The basement floors extend seven stories down. The central bank’s safe will also be housed there. The money printing works will remain elsewhere.