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Is a 180m2 penthouse belonging to a 45 year old single man, in the heart of Istanbul, facing an old Armenian church Getronagan, and Galata Tower on the background.
The location of the house as well as the personality, way of living and needs of the client were the main parameters in the design of this project. Karakoy had always been the heart of the commerce in Istanbul. Nowadays the old neighborhood is getting more hip and active with many new art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and hotels all around. The house is situated right in the middle of this hustle and bustle. Meanwhile the client’s outdoor personality was of course our main drive when choosing materials and creating space. Natural, neutral, comfortable, practical are the keywords to describe.
The structural approach of the house was to open up to get more light and view. The previous small window openings on the front façade were enlarged and the new folding window frames slide the width of the building to transform the living room into a balcony, since the apartment is missing one. And a large rectangular skylight was inserted just below the peak of the pitch to provide light and view to the mezzanine.
The design approach of the house however was ‘not to have too many ideas’. We evaluated the entire house as a whole and single space since its layout was to be designed for a single person’s use, and all the spaces was planned to be entwined together. There was no need for dividing the space into many small rooms. Therefore, we didn’t need different design ideas for different rooms. We came up with a few design approaches and used it all around the house;
- One of the longitudinal walls was resolved as storage. A very simple system was designed with iron rods climbing two floors and running the length of the house, without categorizing as living room, kitchen, library or bedroom. 12mm iron rods coming out of the wall and 16mm rods connected to them creating a 60x60cm grid over the wall surface. Various shelving units and accessories were designed to fit this system, such as a single shelf, double or triple story shelves, vertical separators or hanging units. The user may arrange and utilize this storing system however he likes; as a library, a woodshed, kitchen storage, or a wardrobe.
- The other longitudinal wall facing this busy storage system was designed with least movement as possible to create a serene side and was covered with natural stone in varied sizes. This wall starts in the living room and continues all the way up and through the bedroom.
- Downstairs floor was covered with 60x60cm natural stone in an irregular angle obtaining the casualness. It only replaced itself to wood in the guest bedroom, which is facing north.
- All through out the mezzanine, the surfaces were covered with a cement-based material, uninterrupted, for a pleasant feeling for the naked feet. This surface created the floor all around, including the shower and also the block, which nestles the bed and the bathtub.
- Apart from practicality, the warmness that the house needed was achieved with a continuous ceiling of iroko wood, that rise from the wall to the ceiling, creating also a wide seating unit in front of the window for crowded gatherings.
- Finally, the cast-concrete block surface which was created to form the kitchen counter framed in an iron structure, steps down and forms itself into a cantilevering dining table and ends up as a short plinth as the hearth, which also allows extra seating around the table.