Beyazit Library by Tabanlioglu Architects
The elegant restoration of the Beyazit Library in Istanbul by Tabanlioglu Architects continues to rake in admiration and awards.
The World Architecture Festival has rightly lauded the Beyazit Library as ‘a subtle and beautiful restoration’. Tabanlioglu Architects scooped top honours in the ‘new and old’ category. This accolade comes shortly after winning a platinum award in the ‘restoration and renovation’ category of the American Architecture Prize.
Istanbul’s largest and oldest library, the Beyazit restoration required a sensitive intervention that respected and showcased the building’s history, adapted it for contemporary use, and conserved the collection of precious books. Taking a minimalist intervention approach, a reorganisation of the layout of the facilities and a modest sized extension to the northeast façade comprised the bulk of the project.
To bridge the new and old, Tabanlioglu Architects used sensitive lighting schemes and subtle transparent materials to enhance the existing historic volumes and spaces. Most striking are the black glass boxes placed inside the renovated original building to preserve the rare books and manuscript collection. Another feature is membranous roof structure that now covers the ancient courtyard.
Part of the Beyazıt II Complex adjacent to Beyazıt Mosque – the oldest surviving imperial mosque in the city – the library has a rich history. The remains of a Byzantine church, discovered during the renovation, have been turned into a display feature with glass roof.