Tabanlıoğlu Architects recently completed the restoration of a historic library in Istanbul. Giving it a subtle makeover and reconnecting it with the vibrant Beyazıt Square area, the architects reorganized the interior, restored parts of the building, and then added a modern extension to the northeast side.
As one of the oldest of its kind in Istanbul, the Beyazıt State Library sits on a vibrant city square close to to Beyazıt Mosque built by Sultan Beyazıt II and completed in 1506. The building was originally used as a soup kitchen and caravanserai-a roadside inn-of a larger complex that included a primary school, a hospital, a madrasa or religious school and a hammam (or public bath). The library was founded in 1884 and occupied a part of the the Kulliyah of the Beyazıt Mosque- the oldest surviving imperial mosque in the city- built by Sultan Beyazıt II and completed in 1506.
The restoration involved a reorganization of the interior and restoration of the building envelope. The architects also added a small extension, installed a transparent, inflatable membrane that covers the courtyard. Valuable manuscripts were placed in black glass boxes that contrast the rest of the interior. The second floor houses a collection of Turkish publications: periodicals are on the first floor, while rare books and publications from the Ottoman era are exhibited on the ground floor.
Photos by Emre Dörter