Autoban’s first yacht design Aquarius is a 45m full wooden laminated epoxy tri-deck displacement superyacht that is destined to spend almost half of the year on the sea. Therefore, offering a home warmth and comfort that could have been hardly imagined stood as a guiding drive during the design process.
Autoban mastered well the delicate balance in the blend of functions and materials in a space where strict boundries go hand in hand with constantly changing external factors. This conscious tailored the transparent and semi-transparent interrelations between the space, daylight and landscape.
The yacht that is spread over 3 full internal decks plus an open-air sundeck, is considered as a one whole furniture and from the outer into the inner layers the narrative is conveyed shell by shell. The gradual change while erasing the distinct passage between in and out, added a certain depth in the interior design.
The main bedroom is encased by an outer shell of light and dark wood with beige hues to invigorate a wrapping sense by its curvaceous form and it delivers a contemporary interpretation of the classic style. Sliding horizontal slatted timber doors give access to starkly contrasted ultramodern bathroom. The same slatted panels cover the windows creating a closed area allowing filtered daylight and views to permeate into the interior. The main salon and the passages benefit from large windows from where flood a natural light that is further carried by bright white-lacquered ceiling. Rounded corners and organic forms are defined by polished teak and brushed oak among other wooden material. Along a braided wallpaper together they enhance the warm and cozy feeling.
Wet areas advocate Autoban’s fascination by uncommon materials, and common materials used in uncommon ways. The bathrooms are highlighted by a monochrome or dual streaked bookmatched marble that are selected for their unique vein structure and cover the space again as a shell from the ground throughout the walls.
Located inside the recently developed Bomonti Historic Brewery, Kilimanjaro is a casual restaurant-bar that is an integral part of Bomontiada – the new art, culture and entertainment base of Istanbul. Designed by Autoban, the venue boasts a contemporary social environment inside a historic, industrial building, with careful attention given to its scale and original texture.
While staying true to the factory typology of the space, Autoban has also paid homage to the building’s former use by choosing materials that are relevant to the times while it was still an active production plant – a time when artisan tradition played a collective part within industrial production. Such choice of materials and artisan detailing were also helpful in softening the severity of the industrial atmosphere.
Inside Kilimanjaro, the two main functions – dining area and bar – are arranged as close as possible, almost touching one another at some points, to encourage social interaction and result in an intimate, cozy setting.
With its structural form and massive volume, the curvaceous bar placed at the centre, almost in the manner of an art installation, is the focal point of Kilimanjaro, where dining room seating is organized around it. Exhibiting its load-bearing functions and structural skeleton, the metalwork travelling the entire bar on top allows plenty of room for display, and it is decked out with leafy plants to help break the cold, industrial atmosphere. Due to its relationship with the overall spatial experience, the bar is perceived as a space-within-space, also creating zones for both solitude and gathering within its amorphous form.
In creating the cutting-edge design concept for Nopa, a grill restaurant-bar in Istanbul, Autoban have applied their signature aesthetic by maintaining a unity in architecture, interior and product design as well as engaging indoor and outdoor areas.
Housed on the ground floor of a recently built apartment (also built by Autoban), and opening to a back garden, Nopa is mainly formed by two separate areas (indoor and outdoor) that sit on a long and narrow layout plan. The main concern for the interior has been to stay true to the distinct rectangular shape of the space while enriching it with the use of diverse textural materials in layers. All secondary functions (such as wine storage and liquor bottle shelves behind the bar counter) are embedded into walls to maintain a continuous vertical surface level and a certain form of unity. The building’s front façade features an organized geometrical composition applied in varying layers, which is successfully incorporated also to the interior.
While the indoor vertical surfaces feature varying materials with different functions - black marble and back-lit niches with plate glass covers – these idle and filled up surfaces come together to form a certain richness and break the monotony.
Designed to be an extension of the interior, the outdoor area follows the same design approach with layers of greenery that both bring diversity to the space and highlight the perception of being outdoors. It is a surrounding vertical garden, with a wall waterfall on one side providing a peaceful background sound for diners, and comes out as one of the most significant design element of the project.
London-based restaurateur Alan Yau’s new Soho restaurant, Babaji applies a contemporary global perspective to traditional Turkish recipes to create an exciting new dining experience. As with Yau’s approach to the menu, Autoban’s design concept for the eatery is inspired by traditional Turkish design, and the materials that have been used within the restaurant showcase Turkey’s artisan culture and almost forgotten craft techniques.
Housed within a late 19th Century historic brick building, the exterior of Babaji is kept simple, blending in with the building façade as well as its lively Soho surroundings. A dominant feature of Babaji’s interior is vivid blue ceramic tiles designed and manufactured by Autoban to cover the entire interior space. The handmade tiles reflect both Turkish style and the dynamism of London’s Soho neighbourhood through their application onto the walls. Traditional Turkish Iznik tiles are also incorporated into the tiled surface, and Iznik patterns are used on soft furnishings.
Autoban designed much of the furniture exclusively for Babaji, with some additional signature pieces from the studio’s existing furniture collection. Although the furniture has a sense of simplicity there is also a richness and attention to detail in each piece, such as the inlaid brass detailing in the wood banquette seating and tabletops. Brass inlays are found in traditional Turkish culture, and Autoban has applied a contemporary dotted design to the Babaji pieces. These inlaid brass patterns have been placed on the back of the banquettes, making this striking design feature visible from the outside of the restaurant.
A concept by the renowned restaurateur Alan Yau, Duck + Rice is a pub with a Chinese kitchen that sits on two levels in London’s Soho. Using a multi-layered approach, Autoban has created a contemporary design that pays homage to the densely decorated Victorian pubs beloved by Londoners while also incorporating carefully composed and reinterpreted Asian influences.
From the glass façade of the exterior to the metal screens dividing diners into cozy booths inside the space, Autoban incorporated abstracted geometric patterns throughout the space. A mix of opaque and transparent glass divided by aluminum strips creates a modern stained glass effect, which results in a play between inside and outside and lends a richly layered, dynamic surface to the exterior. Inside the restaurant, oversized white tiles with striking blue floral motifs cover the walls and are repeated in sections of the ceiling.
Specially-designed and produced by Autoban for The Duck + Rice, the tiles reference China’s renowned pottery traditions and pay tribute to the iconic blue and white porcelain glaze first used during the Tang Dynasty. The technique of mixing cobalt oxide with water to create this vibrant blue hue is the same technique also used to create traditional Turkish İznik tiles, which are further highlighted and backlit by custom aged brass wall lights with a half chrome bulb.
The ground floor is the pub where four glowing copper beer tanks greet visitors at the entrance, referencing the space’s former use as a traditional British pub and show the restaurant’s emphasis on quality lagers, ales and ciders sourced from traditional brewers. The long, marble bar and a mix of high top tables and low seating with a fireplace and booths are warmed by freestanding wood burning stoves.
The new terminal at Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport in the country’s capital of Baku features interior architecture and experiential design by Autoban. Bearing all the hallmarks of the multidisciplinary studio’s experimental, genre-defying approach, the contemporary interiors overturn airport conventions of cavernous space and impersonal experience.
Taking inspiration from Azerbaijani hospitality, Autoban’s Red Dot award-winning design spans the entirety of the terminal’s passenger spaces, and includes striking custom-made wooden cocoons that create a sense of welcome and discovery, and opportunities to either meet or retreat.
At the terminal, Autoban’s bespoke furnishings and lighting schemes upend airport typologies, opting for tactile natural materials such as wood, stone and textiles, gently and warmly lit. The cocoons – which vary in size and house an array of cafes, kiosks and other amenities – exist at the convergence of architecture and art, creating an inviting, intriguing landscape within the huge transportation hub that challenges expectations of the airport environment.
The studio has also conceived, designed and furnished four lounges exclusively for business class use, extending the best of their hospitality expertise to these premium passengers.
Frescobaldi Ristorante is an Italian restaurant in London designed by Autoban. Approaching each project as storytellers, the studio followed an inductive method in creating the interior design concept of the restaurant, fusing various components associated with the project in contemporary harmony. Since the restaurant is co-owned by the Italian family Frescobaldi who are rooted in wine business, the family’s firm relationship with wine culture and Tuscany heritage played a key role in the overall design.
Imagining the space as the private dining room of the family, Autoban carried the Frescobaldi DNA all throughout the two-storied restaurant, with strong references to the history of the family and wine culture in general. All these key references are deciphered in a contemporary way - Autoban kept in mind that the restaurant is based in London, the world’s current capital of culinary culture - without diminishing the warmth of Italian hospitality.
There are hints of Italian culinary culture everywhere - from the layered ceramic tiles and wooden panels that form the surrounding interior shell of the restaurant, to the hand-painted drawings on the ceramic tiles depicting stories related to wine culture in Italy. Walls are also lined with framed pictures, all of which fuse the joyous spirit of Italian food culture into the space.
Flamingo is located inside Inter Continental Hotel, which was the Sheraton until 1995. The hotel was built in the 1960s and at the time both architecturally and lifestyle-wise it marked a turning point for the history of Taksim and Istanbul in general. During 80s and 90s, Sheraton was one of the most important meeting points in the city for the well-heeled community.
With the knowledge and motivation of this historical fact about the space, Autoban focused on creating again a lively meeting point for the city. The restaurant focused on Mediterranean cuisine as the right choice, since the cuisine is mostly associated with people gathering and sharing food in a joyful manner.
Bearing the slogan ‘Comfortable as a hotel, warm as a home’, Republika is a new concept in student accommodation with three branches located in different parts of Istanbul. Designed by Autoban, the residencies lever up the standards of student housing with thoughtfully planned habitable units that provide utmost comfort within compact spaces, as well as the carefully organised relationship of private and public areas.
In the first two branches in Ortaköy and Büyükçekmece, the converted properties boast around 230 rooms and 650 beds each, whereas the purpose-built (also by Autoban) Florya branch accommodates 83 rooms with 188 beds.
Since economy and efficiency are the prime goals, all three projects address the challenge of creating pleasurable living environments with cost-effective and durable materials, and coming up with perfect architectural solutions that make the most of daylight, height and space.
In creating the design concept for Republika, Autoban followed the principles of modernist architecture, designing a repetitive module of simple geometric forms that inscribe across the architecture. The series of modules are made to fit in the existing architectural shell of the first two branches, while the individual module forms the basis of the architecture and their repetitive assembly makes up the entire building in the more recent Florya branch.
Kemer Golf and Country Club is a country retreat situated 25 km from Istanbul in the heart of the Belgrade Forest. The Country Club was originally founded in 1995 to provide its members with a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. While the main attraction for the club has always been the golf course, there are also facilities for horse riding, tennis and other sports as well as a spa and fitness centre. Autoban has seamlessly integrated the new hotel into the existing club facilities by transforming the site of the former clubhouse into the 35-room luxury boutique hotel.
The hotel is situated in a beautiful natural setting, while being in close proximity to Istanbul. Autoban’s design concept conveys a sense of secluded relaxation while also keeping guests connected to their urban lifestyle.
With the Kemer Golf Resort Hotel, the oversized rooms each boast interiors more akin to a home than a hotel in terms of comfort and functionality. The interiors fuse natural materials and rich textures with exceptional craftsmanship. As with all of the studio’s interior projects, the hotel room design is based around a layered interior shell. This time overlapping surfaces covered with custom-designed wallpaper, marble and wood, form a richly layered surface that give the space a domestic feel.
L'ist İstinye Suites is a housing project located in one of the most valuable residential districts of Istanbul's European side, Istinye, with unique views of the Bosphorus. Consisting of 150 suites in 14 blocks, the residential development also features sports and relaxation facilities, including two outdoor and one heated indoor pools as well as a fully-equipped fitness and spa centre.
The correct correlation of location, terrain and landscape, the use of water as a unifying natural element, and a natural material palette make up the unique characteristics of the development, which Autoban took as a reference point and developed a sound design perspective with aspects that convert living spaces into areas of comfort, joy and taste.
Started as a small car rental company, Central wanted to celebrate the success it has achieved over the years with a new office design that would also help motivate the employees for even greater success.
Located in a high-rise building, the new design offered by Autoban lends a contrastingly relaxing atmosphere to the interiors that is achieved by the relaxing level of light and sound as well as the lavish use of natural materials, resulting in a combined positive effect on the employees.
Doğan Media Group is a Turkish media conglomerate that owns and controls three major newspapers as well as Kanal D and CNN Türk TV networks. Located in a suburban district on the European side of Istanbul and designed by the well-known Turkish architecture practice Tabanlıoğlu Architects, Doğan TV Centre is where the two TV networks operate. The building is given a makeover by Autoban who redesigned the main entrance and lobbies.
Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a solid expression of Autoban’s trademark design approach - natural materials with diverse textures used in layers.
Da Mario is an established Italian restaurant that has pioneered the Italian culinary culture in Istanbul since 1993. In 2014, the owners opened a second location on the Asian side of Istanbul, and commissioned Autoban to design the interiors.
With its enviable location across the marina, the restaurant is a soaring space with plenty of Mediterranean influences, boasting period setting in a contemporary, cosmopolitan environment.
In creating the interiors for Da Mario Kalamış, Autoban took inspiration from the grand Italian villas, particularly Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, and brought in a brand new perspective to the traditional Italian style dining. Featuring a palette of natural materials such as marble, wood and metal, all of which are used in layers, the true value of craftsmanship is generously exhibited all throughout the space, from the iron frameworks to the plate glass windows, leather covered bar top and custom-designed solid wood door handles.
Set in a historic wooden waterside mansion in Ortaköy, Anjélique is one of the oldest nightclubs in Istanbul, On three floors, with an outdoor terrace, the venue offers eating, drinking and dancing with a different menu and musical style on each floor amidst outstanding Bosphorus views.
Autoban first designed Anjélique’s interior in 2009, changing its layout significantly and in 2011, the practice redesigned the space for the club’s transformation from a summer-only venue into a year-round destination.
The interiors feature a mash up of patterns and layering, overlapping with the centripetal symmetry of the architectural shell. Augmented with geometric forms that cover the rooms in various tones of beige, these textural surfaces were specifically incorporated to the design to create the ideal environment that would look good under dining-room lights and feel tactile in the darkness of the dance floor.
Autoban has been working with the House Café Group since 2005. The Group was founded in 2002 with the opening of their first branch located inside an old Nişantaşı apartment flat. It became so popular that in 2005 a second branch in Tünel was launched, followed by many others. Today, an established café chain, The House Café operates several branches in Istanbul and elsewhere, all of which are designed by Autoban.
Through their work for the House Café, the studio have shaped the city’s café culture by dividing the cafes into rooms that suggest a domestic arrangement and encourage guests to come together around a communal table.
Developed by Çarmıklı-Saruhan coorporation, Savoy Ulus is a residential complex that consists of various types of apartments all designed to satisfy different types of living. With its modern architectural style as well as exquisite services and facilities, the project breathes new life to the upscale Ulus area, a hilltop district of Istanbul that is home to many apartment complexes built back in the 80s and 90s.
At the centre of the residential complex is the Savoy Ulus Clubhouse – a joint-use sports and entertainment complex, featuring a lounge area, café, multimedia room, swimming pool, spa rooms, fitness and cardio areas, with interiors designed by Autoban.
The elevation of the site was the main determining factor of the architecture of the building and its unique geometry, which has eventually become part of the landscape. Here, Autoban has created an interior shell that is totally in tune with the architecture. In fact, the building’s unique geometry has guided all the forms and materials used all throughout. The result is a myriad of textures and radial patterns that mimic the geometry of the building.
Occupying the historical Simon Kalfa building, which is a listed Grade A wooden waterside mansion named after its architect who helped to build many Ottoman palaces and mosques back in the 19th century, The House Hotel Bosphorus is a unique boutique hotel boasting 23 suites over 6 floors.
Inside the 1,070 sqm hotel with spectacular views over the Bosphorus, Autoban creates comfortable and contemporary interiors while keeping the building’s historical architectural elements, such as doors and window frames, intact. Original moldings and detailing are now offset with the play of circular forms and 3D geometrical patterns, which, as decorative patterns, are scattered through the interiors and as trompe l’oeil marquetry on floors (such as the cube-shaped wooden tiles peeling up from the foyer floor to form the reception desk).
Occupying an early 20th century building in the heart of Karaköy, the burgeoning epicenter for the city’s contemporary art and social scene, Gaspar is a two-storey gastro-bar and lounge rolled into one. Proposed by Autoban, the redesign of the property, originally erected to function as a letterpress-printing house, saw a creative and engaging transformation while restoring the building’s original grandeur.
While the exterior is brought to its former glory by fully revealing the original stone façade and reinstalling arched window frames made of iron, the interior design concept of Gaspar is based on 'Cabinet of Curiosities' - an idea flourished in Renaissance Europe during the 16th century. The term describes a collection of types of objects whose categorical boundaries are yet to be defined. As a method of organization, the collected objects are arranged by 'knolling', basically the process of arranging objects in parallel or at 90-degree angles on surfaces.
At Gaspar, overlapping plywood panels, produced in different shades and sizes, and positioned at various levels in a mathematical order, create a second shell in the form of a wooden cube that is placed inside the building. Covering the interior vertically and horizontally, the plywood surfaces create a sense of randomness as well as depth, a perception amplified by the high ceilings.
Situated in a 19th-century building named ‘Zenovitch’ in Galatasaray, The House Hotel Galatasaray marks one of Autoban’s long time collaborators, The House Cafés, first foray into hotel operations.
In designing the interiors of the hotel, Autoban imagined a fictional old Istanbul family living in this four-storied townhouse, and thereby retained many of its original features including the stairs, handrails and hall doors, to recover and broadcast the spirit of the area’s past while inserting today’s textures and forms.
On each floor, the bedrooms are reached by long corridors, where the designers installed hexagonally perforated ceiling panels that add bold geometry to the otherwise neutral environments, while also concealing the light fixtures. The room numbers mounted on a rod at a distance from the corridor walls are equipped with their own light source, casting a looming shadow of the number against the white surface.
For Turkey, the Vakko fashion house represents history and modernity in the same breath. As Turkey modernized following the creation of Atatürk’s republic in 1923, Vakko would be in the vanguard of the country’s evolving relationship with the West and with urbanization, with aesthetics and luxury. Vitali Hakko established the family’s first small shop, a milliners called Şen Şapka, in 1934. When it became Vakko, a conflation of the founder’s given and surnames, it began to produce scarves in Turkish silk, cotton, and wool at its own printing house, creating the first printed Turkish textiles, extending the business into ready-to-wear, and creating what would become a symbol of the brand’s dedication to quality and refinement. The first fashion boutique opened in Beyoğlu in 1962, for the first time offering customers fixed prices, formalized seasonal sales, returns, and refunds.
Today, the company’s forward-looking business practices and sophisticated tastes have made it an empire: in addition to its 15 flagships, Vakko owns 35 fashion and two chocolate boutiques, and over 100 other outlets, wedding and household stores, and concept shops. It is a family dynasty with its hands in everything from bridal gear, fragrances, and shoes to chocolates, household items, and high-end events spaces. It inaugurated the country’s first concept store, selling the most avant-garde names in the industry in addition to its own multiplying merchandise.
Turkish Airlines is Turkey’s national airline, and their CIP lounge serves with a daily capacity of 2000+ people as it is also open to Business Class travellers of other airlines in the Star Alliance.
The briefing for the new CIP Lounge project to replace the old one was ‘to offer Turkish hospitality at its highest in a relaxing and contemporary atmosphere.’
While the main idea was to create a ‘contemporary Turkey experience’, Autoban returned to the concept of 'Kervansaray' – the traditional roadside inns where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. The designers also revisited the curvy domes of Istanbul’s mosques, most of them being the century-old works of famous Ottoman architect Sinan the Great, and the unique architecture of the Grand Bazaar.
Borrowing the traditional arcade system for a contemporary purpose, Autoban designed a series of bubble-like portals, which create a substructure within the airport hall. This substructure helps bring the gigantic environment of the airport down to a more human scale and lend warmth to the space. In some areas of the lounge, round openings in the architectural substructure reveal the larger proportions of the terminal.
The 5.2 metre-high spherical pods divide the space into sections, while maintaining open views of the rest of the lounge and providing a sense of continuation. Each one of the pods serve to a specific purpose such as the library, restaurant, tea garden, piano area, screening room, meeting room, kids’ playground or the rest rooms, and starting from the entrance, they are organized in order of the priorities of the passengers’ needs. The interconnected portals allow transitions in between them, and while moving through the spaces, the passengers are encouraged to discover each module with curiosity.
When Vakko - Turkey’s most established luxury fashion house founded in 1938 - decided move their head quarters to Nakkaştepe on the Asian side of the city and into an innovative building designed by the New York-based Rex Architects, Autoban was appointed consultant for the interior design and architecture, as well as to design the office spaces, café and the Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library - a public library named after the founder of the company.
In contrast with the strong structural identity of the steel and glass building, Autoban used subdued and warm colours all throughout the interiors, with natural materials such as walnut wall surfaces continuing to add warmth to the overall environment.
The library, archiving an impressive collection of books on fashion, architecture, cinema, art, and photography, is one of the highlights of the tour of the head quarters. Autoban designed the space, which receives plenty of daylight from the glass panes on its ceiling, to encourage studying, using massive walnut for the book-lined shelves as well as long work desks with ergonomic chairs.
Serving traditional seafood since 1967, Tres Encinas is a landmark restaurant in downtown Madrid, at a location that particularly exemplifies the deep socio-cultural richness of the city.
When Autoban was commissioned to redesign and refurbish the restaurant’s interiors, the designers opted for the space to reflect this unique quality of Madrid in a contemporary tone, while adhering to the Arts & Crafts tenet of staying true to local materials. This approach was predicated through generous use of materials such as wood, glass, metal and custom-printed glazed ceramic tiles in four types, whose arrangement and combinations narrate four different tales of fishermen and life on the sea all throughout the restaurant.
The floor, as well as the ceiling above the bar, is covered with classic wood parquet, a soft trompe l’oeil forming flat cubes that appear three- dimensional. The ceiling above the dining room features bespoke metalwork, which demonstrates a strong Art Nouveau influence. As vertical graphical elements, the surfaces of the grand French doors connecting the main dining rooms are decorated with largely horizontal patterns, underlining the relationship between the materials, metal and glass. An iron staircase connects all levels (two floors + mezzanine) of the restaurant, and the pattern on its banisters echo the pattern of the façade’s balcony railings hinting at a notional union of interior and exterior.
With showrooms in Istanbul and Paris, Arzu Kaprol is a venerable Turkish fashion designer whose collections generally take clues from architecture and well-received across the world.
One of her stores in Istanbul is situated in the city’s Galata district - a common ground for art galleries and specialized shops - inside a recently renovated historical building recognized as Kamondo Inn.
Spread over 70 square meters, the store is designed by Autoban, who conserved the original brick arc structure of the space and has complimented it by building the rest of the store around it.
HONG KONG, 2010
208 Duecento Otto is a buzzing neighbourhood restaurant and bar in Hong Kong that is inspired by Italy’s culinary tradition. Located on the city's art and antiquing Hollywood Road in the up-and-coming Sheung Wan district, the concept is the creation of Yenn Wong, founder of JIA Boutique Hotels. The project is Autoban’s first overseas commission.
Located in a former meat-storage warehouse that is surrounded by antique shops and art galleries, 208 Duecento Otto serves a New york-style Italian menu with a focus on authenticity. This unlikely culinary fusion, as well as the geographical influences, have formed the basis of Autoban’s layered work inside the restaurant.
The interiors feature a deep layering of patterns, starting with the tiled walls. The blue-and-white, custom-designed and handcrafted tiles depict a story the designers found in an old Chinese book. Along with the tiled surfaces, natural and raw materials are featured throughout the space such as steel pillars, marble tabletops and solid walnut floors and ceiling.
The two-storied restaurant features a bar and two separate areas for al-fresco dining on the ground floor, one of which is private dining room walled with wines. There is additional seating on the upper floor, and a metal staircase connects both floors, which seat 90 guests in total.
The second edition of The House Hotel occupies a central location in the city’s toniest shopping and residential district, Nişantaşı, offering a modern guest experience and pit stop of contemporary design in the heart of Istanbul.
Set in a 2,200 sqm relatively new building, the hotel accommodates 45 rooms of five types over six floors with a library on the first floor. Lobby, restaurant, meeting room, and the bar are also located on this floor overlooking the busy shopping street below.
Each of the 45 rooms as well as the shared areas are wallpapered by a layered interior shell made of oak panels. The rooms feature a bar, a wine rack, and an exposed bathroom with floor-to-ceiling glass that can be shuttered with Venetian blinds, if desired. The bathrooms are clad with black-veined white Carrera marble on both floors and walls, bordered with beige Bursa marble.
In designing the interiors of the hotel, Autoban imagined a fictional old Istanbul family living in this four-storied townhouse, and thereby retained many of its original features including the stairs, handrails and hall doors, to recover and broadcast the spirit of the area’s past while inserting today’s textures and forms.
The 19th-century building designed by the French-Ottoman architect Alexander Vallaury that now houses the Autoban Studio was purposefully built as the Union Française - to serve as a local to the French community in Istanbul who were quite active in the social life of the city back in the day. The main façade of the building is in neo-classical style with Belle Epoque details, along with elements of the eclectic Ottoman architecture.
When Autoban signed the lease agreement, the property was right out of a rough construction work. The marble flooring was partly done, the walls were just concrete surfaces and there were columns in varying sizes all around. Starting with the marble flooring which they restored and completed, Autoban put the ornate wooden framed window of the front façade at the centre stage of the studio’s design scheme, and punctuated its historical beauty by keeping everything simple around it. They also restored and preserved the three marble plates carved with the names of the martyrs of the French Legion.
The spaces in between columns were filled with enclosed floor-to-ceiling storage units with several shutters that give the effect of strictly ordered files on cupboards. The studio’s two kitchen units are also imbedded into the walls to keep the office clutter-free.
Inspired by Istanbul and the lifestyle of the city’s young working professionals, NEF Flats 163 is a new concept in high-rise way of living.
Located in Levent, one of the main business districts in Istanbul, the residential development translates the multilayered and chaotic architectural fabric of the city into a systematical order for the building to respond to its local surroundings, while relating in scale to the neighbouring commercial towers.
In the design process, the pace of modern life and need for practicality has made ‘modularity’ the starting point of the project. Through the use of natural materials, clean and simple lines as well as open spaces and green areas, the building balances the fundamentals of modern architecture with the human need for warmth and comfort.
The design concept for the 24-storey residential tower draws on both a combination of boxes and ship containers, whose modularity have brought them to the fore.
Starting with its sandstone façade, Witt Istanbul Suites showcases the careful transformation of an old Istanbul apartment into a contemporary boutique hotel. The location has significant history while being at the center of one of city’s most lively neighborhoods, a fact which has set the tone of voice of Autoban’s narrative approach in designing the hotel.
The exterior façade is inspired by the Tophane-i Amire Building at the end of the same street, and the tall windows as well as the French balconies reflect the architectural style of the Italian Hospital across the street.
The 17 loft-like rooms boast walls covered in mirror tiles and layers of wood and steel panels with laser-cut motifs. Opting for the guests to feel like they’ve just stepped into their dream apartment, the studio kitted out each one of the relatively large suites with kitchen-bar units, bathrooms in traditional gray Marmara marble and freestanding furniture to evoke the sense of a home.
Located in the burgeoning neighbourhood of Karaköy and popular with locals and tourists alike, Karaköy Lokantası is a modern spin on the traditional Turkish restaurant with interiors designed by Autoban.
With this commission, the studio opted to create a strong and contemporary identity for the 21st-century adaptations of traditional Turkish restaurants. To find a coherent language with which to depict it, the designers revisited the city’s landmark Turkish restaurant Pandeli over the Spice Market for reference, and finally settled on tiles, patterns, and craftsmanship as their key ingredients. Pandeli’s glazed turquoise wall tiles became a historical point of reference for the Karaköy Lokantası.
While the turquoise tiles become the most significant elements of the two-storey restaurant’s interiors, the space also features custom-made brass lights, mosaic floors and marble detailing. At the center of the street-level dining room, a narrow, cast-iron staircase spirals upward to connect it to a dining room upstairs.
Opened in 2010, Münferit is a fine-dining restaurant that brings a modern take on the traditional Turkish meyhane. The chef-owner Ferit Sarper’s family also produces Beylerbeyi rakı at its distillery in western Turkey.
Inside Münferit, Autoban’s design translates the story of a time-honored culinary culture into a cosmopolitan restaurant of entirely contemporary tone, while maintaining the warm and inviting spirit of meyhanes. Blending in a variety of rich materials, the studio showcases their signature layered and textural work through the rosewood Art Deco panelling, pressed metal ceiling panels, chocolate-coloured glossy wall tiles, mirrors and tiled floors, which offset the custom-designed solid wood furniture and marble tabletops used all throughout.
Spreading two floors, the upper ground floor of Münferit hosts the bar and lounge area alongside a mews-like terrace, which becomes more popular than ever on warmer days.
When Macro Center went for a redesign of their Kuruçeşme branch, where the supermarket chain was pilot testing their new gourmet-shopping concept, supermarket design was a new category in the Autoban project archive. Yet with careful planning and creativity combined with attention to detail, the studio came up with an inviting concept that blurs the line between a farm fresh marketplace and grocery retail.
Komşufırın is a bakery chain with a slogan: “Tradition of the next generation”. Taking it as a guideline and enhancing the idea of updating the traditional bakery experience for the new generation, Autoban came up with a contemporary and functional design scheme that would become a standard model for all branches.
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