It has been a year since the HAAZ Design and Art Gallery in a popular shopping district of Istanbul received a sustainable upgrade from renowned designers Global Architectural Development (GAD), but the vibrant space continues to shine. As space and materials become increasingly limited in cities everywhere, it is more important than ever to make do with existing buildings.
But GAD does more than that. Their deft transformation of this double-storey apartment is art in itself – from zigzagging oak floors to graphic wallpaper, their signature light touch both meets and enhances the eclectic vision of gallery owners Özlem Avcıoğlu and Murat Patavi to create an almost otherworldly experience.
The elite sensory experience begins at the street of this Tesvikiye district store, where the facade has been treated with an attractive melee of black steel and energy-efficient LED tubes. Five cantilevering steel steps later, which double as display cases, and visitors are greeted by the gallery’s entry level.
GAD made efforts to ensure that lighting infrastructure is flexible, which is crucial to any modern development. Ease of adaptability ensures minimal costs and refurbishments when changes need to be made – something that occurs frequently in gallery spaces.
The oak herringbone flooring is typical of residential Turkish architecture, but less usual is applying the store’s branded graphics to the wallpaper and screens – a kind of subliminal messaging system that compliments the rag chair, faux animal mounts, swirling gold lighting and other unique design and furniture objects.
Many elements of the existing building were left somewhat unfinished, including fluid carved shelving and upstairs walls peeled down to their base layer.
Of course, this renovation is not as green as a cob building or a date palm shack, nor quite so earthy, but it’s important to recognize that sustainability is often synonymous with minimalism, something that GAD hopes to achieve in a nation that has yet to fully accept the importance of restrained development.
all images via GAD
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