International architecture and design studio based in Brooklyn and Istanbul, Eray Carbajo, has unveiled Urban Rural, a new dwelling typology for a sustainable transformation strategy that will become exemplar for Istanbul’s future redevelopment, with construction completion in 2019.

Urban Rural proposes a hybrid unit of habitation where one can be close to the city center and simultaneously enjoy the lifestyle of rural living, while having a strong interaction with the community and neighborhood.


The design challenges the status quo of typical residential typology. Urban Rural seeks sustainable development through architectural innovation. The unique form of the residential modules utilizes an efficient hexagonal grid that covers the maximum building volume with minimum number of building elements.

One hexagon unit consists a polygonal area to inhabit and a triangular cavity to be used as an irrigable garden. When all modules combined, these triangle cavities act as a truss structure transferring the building’s loads to lower members. As a whole, Urban Rural creates interdependencies between building systems, structure, landscape and architecture. Integration of such complex systems are achieved through modular design that promote flexibility.


Urban Rural aims to minimize the building’s ecological footprint and to maximize the positive impact on the environment while considering the economic viability of the project. In order to achieve this, component-based modular design and locally sourced building materials together are the key.


Urban Rural is designed to become a city landmark. Building a vertical urban village in the heart of the city center immediately reduces the dependency to cars and even to public transit, and it naturally promotes walking or cycling. This generates more opportunities for human interaction and moments of communication that will eventually result in a stronger community. Urban Rural features social and recreational spaces on the lower floors to build a self-sufficient neighborhood where people could live, work and recreate locally.