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ISTANBUL, 2008

Karaköy Lokantası

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.

Overall, Karaköy Lokantası exemplifies Autoban’s instinct for reconciliation: like the city itself, the neighborhood is dappled with its own exhausted and opulent histories, while struggling to renew itself in a new millennium.

‘One of the best 10 restaurants in Istanbul’ _THE GUARDIAN, SEPT 14, 2011

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  • Total area 220 sqm
  • Client Karaköy Lokantası
  • Interior design Autoban
  • Project team Seyhan Özdemir, Sefer Çağlar, Efe Aydar
  • Photography Ali Bekman
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