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Istanbul's $2.6B 'Wall Street' Has Towering Broccoli Florets

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Very exciting news for fans of buildings that look like plants: the New International Finance Center has broken ground in Istanbul. Slated to be open in 2016, the $2.6B project is Turkey's version of Wall Street—"an experiment in how to make a financial powerhouse from scratch," as Architizer puts it. Spread over 170 acres, the complex, designed by the architecture firm HOK, includes retail, residential, office, and green space over four districts (civic, commerce, culture, and governance); whizbang high rises; and other buildings like these "geometric floral canopies" (above) conceived with sustainability—and the ability to accommodate the city's enormous population—in mind. Of course, HOK is no stranger to gleefully pushing the boundaries of convention; its Salvador Dali Museum, in St. Petersburg, Fla., was once called a "geodesic blob still looks like a tumor" that "still may or may not be an homage to adolescent horniness" by Co.Design. And if Istanbul wins the bid for the 2020 Olympics, well, crazy-ambitious architecture and the Olympics are old, dear friends. (No word yet whether the city's, uh, bonkers manmade island domes will be complete by the Opening Ceremony.) An aerial shot, below.

· Istanbul Begins Construction on its Own Wall Street! [Architizer]
· All Architectural Craziness posts [Curbed National]