The new and old category was scooped this year by Tabanlioglu Architects for the Beyazit State Library in Istanbul, which was hailed as ’a subtle and beautiful restoration’. The design was commended for the ’glass boxes for rare books which are elegantly balanced within the historic spaces’, as well as a lighting scheme which enhances the existing historic volumes and spaces without being overwhelming or distracting.
The restoration of the State Library involved the sensitive reorganization of the interior and careful restoration of the building fabric with its prominent multi-domed roof. A modest extension, respectful of the scale of the existing building was added to the northeast façade of the existing Library. The ‘minimal intervention’ approach ensures that the spirit of the place survives while modern facilities are grafted onto the historic fabric. During the construction works, the remains of a Byzantine church were revealed. These have been preserved and can now be enjoyed through a glass roof – a gesture that highlights Tabanlioglu Architects’ careful restoration work, aimed at respecting the spirit of the historical library. The restoration of the Beyazit Library was also recognised by the American Architecture Prize this year, winning Tabanlioglu a Platinum Award in the Restoration and Renovation Category.
Tabanlıoğlu Architects Headed by Murat Tabanl ioglu and Melkan Gursel , the pract ice focuses on resident ial, commercial, mixed-use, publ ic and cultural projec t s real ised mainly in MENASA, CIS and Europe, and latel y in the USA. Tabanl ıoğlu Architec t s has a long fami ly tradit ion and is the culminat ion of over 60 years’ architec tural exper ience. Tabanl ioğlu Architec t s bel ieves that one of the big issues inherent in urban development is to create cit y spaces that a re interac t ive, to al low cit izens to t ruly mingle; that in order to make bet ter c it ies; bui ldings should be mult ifunc t ional and take inspirat ion from both ceremonial and informal publ ic spaces. The pract ice s t r ives for new ef f iciencies in terms of global and environmental needs, incorporat ing new technologies with smar t local solut ions into their work. Recent awards include: AR Award ‘Big Urban Projec t s ’ 2016, WAF Future Of f ice Projec t Award and MIPIM 2015 Best Of f ice Award. In 2014 ESAS Aeropark received LEAF Award and Internat ional Proper ty Award. In 2015 The Plan Awards selec ted three Tabanl ıoğlu projec t s a s the winners; Dakar Congress Center, Bodrum Internat ional Airpor t and As tana Train Stat ion. RIBA Internat ional Awards for Lof t Gardens and Bodrum Internat ional Airpor t projec t s in 2011 and 2013 respec t ively.