Atelye 70 Planners & Architects: Gabriel Apartment | homify
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Atelye 70 Planners & Architects
Atelye 70 Planners & Archit...
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Gabriel Apartment

The Gabriel Apartment is a restoration project that finds its origins in the unique history of the building where it is located… A history that connects Italy to Turkey… to Istanbul.

Pera’s hill, where the building rises, is a stone throwaway from the famous Galata district (The Genoese enclave). From the second half of the XIX century the area became an action field of Italian architects, artists and decorators, later to be known as the Levantines of Istanbul. In that period Istanbul was growing with the inflow of rural population and its urban fabric was being restructured mostly after the big fires that devastated the city. There was a need to modernize, to Europeanize with new architecture and urban works, yet still respecting the Ottoman tradition. Among the Italians who were called to help this transformation, there was the architect Guglielmo Semprini, designer of the building where Gabriel apartment is sited. The apartment is located at the last floor of a noble palace which was initially designed to host the servants, and was characterized by decorative frescos which in time were covered with modern white plaster. Our first intervention was to bring back to light the frescos, removing the plaster, then starting a protection action on the well preserved areas: the pitched roof and the hidden eaves system,over the time caused water infiltration, damaging part of those frescos and making them unrecoverable. Besides the fresco the whole wooden floor was preserved. The roof was entirely reconstructed, reinterpreting its original state and exposing the new wooden beams. The architects carried out the project with a conservative sensibility, but also took into consideration the requests and the habits of the client. Kitchen area is intended to become the heart of the apartment, reflecting the owner’s passion for food… for new tastes, eating and conviviality. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a small living room with a nice view of the Golden Horn and the merchant ships crossover, complete the house. Also in the design of the furniture, entirely produced by local artisans, a high attention has been given to the presence of the frescos, conceiving, for example, the closet spaces as sliding structures. The materials used had to be well integrated into the existing frescos in order to create warm and cozy feeling. The chosen palette consists of natural spruce wood cover, white or black painting, a dark granite top for the kitchen and white marble mosaic for the bathrooms. After almost a century the house finds its Levantine again…