Istanbul Seismic Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Program

Istanbul, Turkey

The North Anatolia Fault, which runs southeast of Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the most tectonically active regions in Eurasia. The Government of Turkey and the World Bank founded the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation Project (ISMEP) to help strengthen critical public facilities to better withstand seismic forces. The joint venture project team of Promer Consultancy and Buehler was selected through an international competition to perform evaluation and retrofit designs for 147 school and police facilities through the ISMEP program; some of the buildings dated back to 1952. Buehler developed strategies for analysis techniques, presented innovative retrofit schemes, reviewed retrofit designs, and investigated non-structural improvement techniques for the hollow clay tile walls that are ubiquitous throughout Istanbul. Several members of the Buehler team enjoyed working in the Istanbul office as well as remotely to bring a successful project from inception through design.   

Quick Facts

  • Size: 147 buildings
  • Architect: Promer Consultancy
  • Istanbul Governorship Project Coordination Unit offices were in the historic Fatih district. Walking to meetings took us right past the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome of Constantine!
  • ISMEP was very interested in learning from outside international experience, and was specifically interested in Buehler for both our OSHPD (governmental agency) and California (high seismic zone) experience.
  • Construction Cost: $250,000,000
  • Contractor: N/A
  • Within the infield of the Hippodrome of Constantine stands an obelisk that rests on four broadly rounded bronze feet. The feet bear on, but are not tied to, a very shallow bronze dish and the combination appears to be an early attempt at base isolation.
  • Most of the buildings were located in the core of the city however some buildings were up to 30 miles away from the Bosphorus; others were on islands in the Sea of Marmara

Photo credit: Promer Consulting