Emaar Square Mall, situated in Istanbul, comprises over 390 shops and restaurants that span three levels below the ground and two levels above the ground. Inspired by Istanbul’s rich cultural history and lively streets, the mall inverts its public spaces inside out as ‘streets’, ‘plazas’ and ‘squares’. Its architecture and landscape design also combines contemporary design with traditional architectural proportions to create a richly textured urban environment that is pedestrian-friendly.

Client: Emaar Turkey
Architect: DP Architects
Interior Designer: DP Design

The plazas, streets, terraces, fountains and skylights are deeply integrated with the spaces above and below ground so that there is seamless connectivity between the two. For instance, a large sunken plaza in the centre of the boulevard is a focal point that connects the shoppers above and below. This sunken plaza is also a multi-purpose space that has outdoor dining around an interactive water feature and can transform into an ice-skating rink during winter.

Below ground, the mall circulation is organised in a seamless loop that passes through four retail zones themed after the seasons. The Spring zone in the north features ‘tree-top cafes’ and an open air courtyard for the food court, punctuated by a dramatic 12-metre ‘waterveil’. An aquarium forms the focus of the Summer court which takes its inspiration from the colours of the sun and sea. The spaces in Autumn Gallery are inspired by a forest canopy while the design of the Winter corridor captures the crystalline quality of daylight in the cold season. A gourmet village, which forms the core of the mall, is inspired by Istanbul’s streets.

© Marc Tey


© Marc Tey

The sequence of activity nodes and details such as skylights, terraces and fountains along this circulation loop are carefully arranged for the aesthetic pleasure of the moving observer. The mall’s central sunken plaza operates as a constantly active theatre for people-watching and a multi-purpose space featuring outdoor dining around an interactive water feature, which can be transformed into an ice-skating rink in the winter.

Here, the shopping mall is meaningful and delightful – similar to the lively streets of Istanbul; showcasing the everyday environment, major social areas and their dominant functions. Like any good built environment, Emaar Square Mall is richly diverse and inspires visitors to reveal their most interesting activities, rediscover the spirit of exploration and the joy of shopping.

© Marc Tey


© Marc Tey

DP Architects (DPA) was founded in 1967 on a deep concern for the built environment and the need to create architecture of excellence that enriches the human experience and spirit. Headquartered in Singapore, it has been instrumental in shaping the country’s remarkable built environment with notable landmark projects. Among its works are People’s Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex in the 60s and 70s, Wisma Atria and Marina Centre in the 80s and 90s, and more recently, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore Sports Hub and Our Tampines Hub.

Committed to excellence, DPA continues to be inspired by principles of sustainability and constant improvement, devoting itself to place-making and shaping a public domain and civic society that improves the quality of life of communities through relevant and memorable spaces. Understanding that the practice of architecture is an increasingly unique and exciting one, DPA drives innovation through integrated design while pushing global boundaries through design initiatives. This has led the firm beyond its regional waters into the global field of design, providing it with the opportunity to help shape cityscapes across 77 countries and building an impressive body of works across a wide range of typologies and sizes. This includes urban planning, mixed-use, healthcare, retail, office and residential developments. It has also brought about tremendous growth for the home-grown practice of 18.

Today, DP functions as One Global Studio, with 17 strategically located international offices, stretching from China and India to the Middle East and Europe, and 9 associated specialist companies offering a good range of expertise. They include:

DP Consultants | Project Management Consultancy
DP Design | Interior Design & Spatial Planning
DP Engineers | Engineering & Building Services Design DP Façade | Building Envelope Design
DP Green | Landscape & Arboricultural Consultancy
DP Infrastructure | Infrastructure Planning & Engineering DP Lighting | Lighting & Visual Planning
DP Sustainable Design | Environmentally Sustainable Design DP Urban | Planning & Urban Design
DP Xperience | Environmental Branding & Xperiential Design

This multi-disciplinary approach combines with breadth of reach and depth of knowledge to enable DP Architects and its group of companies to be a truly international firm. Unencumbered by the limitations of geography and time zones, DP effectively delivers well-calibrated, localised design solutions based on a common design methodology, anytime and anywhere.