Şişli High School Competition Entry / cem kaptan architecture

perspective 01

Şişli is one of the biggest and busiest districts in Istanbul with a large business district and equally large residential area to support it. So when it was announced that the main Şişli High School design was to be chosen with a national competition, as residents of Şişli, cem kaptan architecture, in collaboration with Mustafa Tural and Yıldırım Gigi, won the mention prize of the competition for taking it upon themselves to create an environment for students that was protected from the outside for maximum concentration, but also had a connection to the heart of the urban way of living. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The site is on a big slope with over 20 meters of height difference. The staff and student entrance was placed near the top of the site at (+0.00) level from Dr. Şevket bey street that has direct access to one of the main highways of Istanbul and is able to connect to both European and Asian side. The underground parking which is to be used by staff and students also can be entered at (-15.00) level and from there the main lobby can be easily accessed by stairs or elevators.

perspective 02

The school structure is divided into three main functions. Teaching, administration and recreation. The school entrance was kept spacious and one can access all the areas from there. The administration area is placed on the ground floor for the ease of access. The teaching rooms are placed on the upper floors to keep them separate and create a less distracting environment. To protect the general school experience from environmental noise and visual pollution a more solid and protecting facade was chosen also creating a protected courtyard in the middle of the school structure.

sports hall

As a deign principal, instead of using the classic school section of one corridor surrounded by two classrooms, in this design to optimize the sunlight in classes and increase the relationship of the corridors to the courtyard a more linear one corridor one classroom approach was used. Using this level difference, the support functions such as parking and technical rooms were placed underground. The other functions are placed above ground and to match the slope of the site the floors were terraced down resulting also in a sloping roof. With this shape the school can be perceived as 4 floors from each perspective.


Sports hall and conference hall can be accessed from inside the school as well as having independent entrance that can be used for after school events. Sports hall is placed at the -3 level and has a private outdoor parking. There is an observing bridge and an activity room where non curricular activities can take place. The sports hall can be opened up at the front and the outdoor playing area can be used during the summer period.


The library is placed at the top level to create a quiet and comfortable research area. The reading balconies can also be used when the weather permits. School canteen is placed at -1 level and opens up and connects with to the main courtyard. The school courtyard has a visual connection with the classrooms and is for students to relax and blow off steam in between their busy school schedules. It can also be used for ceremonies and gatherings. It is protected from the outside and belongs to students and students only.

conference lobby

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Şişli High School Competition Entry / cem kaptan architecture" 23 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/162754/sisli-high-school-competition-entry-cem-kaptan-architecture> ISSN 0719-8884

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