Located approximately 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from central Istanbul, Turkey, Bio Istanbul is a joint venture between the international developer, Bio City Development Company (BCDco), the leading emerging markets’ healthcare infrastructure company; EPP, an affiliate of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey; and the Turkish Ministry of Urbanization and Environment. The facilities’ occupiers will include world-leading pharmaceutical, medical technology and biomedical informatics companies, helping to ensure that Bio Istanbul becomes the region’s main hub for biomedicine.

Bio Istanbul is set to become home to 15,000 permanent residents, with accommodation for a further 35,000 working commuters. By providing a catalyst for new investment in healthcare, this ambitious and exceptional project will transform pediatric healthcare and biomedical research and development in Turkey.

This appointment comes a year after Davis Langdon, an AECOM company, was appointed cost and program manager on the project. In addition, its local engineering team is currently working with a leading technology company to develop information technology infrastructure for the area. This will incorporate a number of smart city initiatives to ensure efficient use of energy and utilities, an integrated transport network with an intrasite public tramway and a comprehensive site security system.

Harnessing AECOM’s global expertise is vital for the success of the project, according to BCDco Chief Executive Tobias Levey, who comments, “There are great construction companies in Turkey, but they’re not used to the goals in terms of quality that we’re talking about. That’s why we’ve engaged amazing international consultants to bring it up to that level.”

Phase 1a of Bio Istanbul includes the construction of three distinct campuses:

  • The Istanbul Children’s Hospital designed by Gmur Architekten of Switzerland; a
  • R&D commercial office park (Innovation Campus) designed by Rafael de La-Hoz of Madrid; and, finally,
  • 150 residential units, designed by Tabanlioglu of Istanbul and Saunders Architecture of Norway.

As concept design is complete for the three campuses, AECOM will now manage the project through completion of construction, while supporting the client team in the development of the wider site infrastructure planning and delivery.

Bio Istanbul represents a number of firsts for the country — its first biomedical science park, its first advanced children’s hospital and the country’s first residential community designed to meet internationally recognized sustainability standards.

The project is creating excitement in Turkey, both within AECOM as well as the broader community. Bio Istanbul will serve as a Copernican revolution for healthcare in Turkey, as well as being the first great step on its journey to achieving European healthcare standards.

AECOM’s Doğan Tahsin Biber, head of Program and Construction Management, Turkey.

“The Turkish pharmaceutical industry today spends approximately US$40 million per year on research and development. When compared with the more than US$10 billion spent in each of the major western economies, the importance of the project to Turkey’s transition to a knowledge-based economy becomes clear. Bio Istanbul is the future home for the industry in Turkey, providing unique tax and infrastructure incentives for research and development companies.”

Drew Carr-Ellison, BCDco’s chief operating officer