No. 191 . 28 April 2004 
ArchitectureWeek
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Layering Old and New

by ArchitectureWeek

A once-abandoned ruin has returned to 21st-century life as a multipurpose event space in a busy entertainment district on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in Ortakoy, Istanbul. Global Architectural Development (GAD Architecture) has designed a glass and steel box tucked inside the masonry remains.

The original brick structure was built approximately 200 years ago as a summer retreat for Esma Sultan, an Ottoman Sultan's wife. One century later, it was gutted by fire, and the exterior walls were all that survived.

In the 1990s, the building was leased from the government by the hotelier Marmara Group. They cleaned out debris and began to use the space for summertime open-air concerts and receptions. In response to the venue's growing popularity, The Marmara Group decided in 1999 to make the beautiful landmark ruin usable throughout the year.

They commissioned GAD Architecture, a firm founded in Turkey, that has since moved to New York. Partners Gokhan Avcioglu and Ozlem Ercil have a special interest in merging the cultural and technological. They understand architecture as a practice that values both modern experiment historical precedent.   >>>

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