Istanbul’s 40-story Allianz Tower draws its design from a cultural reading of place, as the region offers a limitless territory of ornament and expression– a fertile domain that was used for inspiration. The office tower brings together sculptural massing, which is rooted in place; a solar-responsive skin; and numerous green spaces. The geographic and historic landscape of Cappadocia in Central Turkey– featuring tower-like habitations emerging from rock formations– was influential. The basic tower figure– a faceted obelisk– is rooted in Islamic ornamental geometries that contribute to overall form, building skin, and plaza design. The qualities of geometric mashrabiya screens, which temper direct sunlight and limit views from the street into a building’s interior, were replicated on the tower’s skin. Draped over the glass facade, the stippled golden scrim incorporates ornament-like patterning and is tuned to the solar orientation to reduce heat load. Sources for the sunscreen included the “Exotic Orient,” where gold and bronze are metals of sophistication; the innovative garments of Paco Rabanne; and the cloak in Klimt’s painting, The Kiss. These cultural references act as symbols that are integrated into the logic and function of the building. Sustainability goals provided additional design parameters, resulting in Turkey’s first LEED Platinum high-rise. Three groupings of sky gardens, positioned at key exposures, provide a thermal buffer between exterior and interior, and employee relaxation areas. A larger garden crowns the tower with a weave of planting and architectural elements, including a wood conference pod. These green areas temper the verticality and enclosed environment inherent to high-rise buildings. Allianz Tower unites opposites in new forms of synthesis. The building is a modern skyscraper, but is imbued with textural richness and ornamentation. The exterior skin controls the sun, and also provides transparency. The skin expresses the local culture, but references a global aesthetic vocabulary.