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Stunning library located in an old hammam in Istanbul

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Turkish architectural studio Tabanlioglu Architects completed the restoration project of the historic Beyazit Public Library in Istanbul. The interior of the building is a blend of mystical Islamic architecture and modern design. The building in which the library is located dates from 1884, and over the years it served as an inn, school, hospital and hammam, and now it is one of the most interesting temples of knowledge across the colorful Istanbul.

The library is located near the mosque Bejazit in the old part of town, surrounded by many other old cultural and historical sites as the old book market and small tea house since the Ottoman period.

The yard of the library is covered with a new, transparent roof which replaces the old concrete roof. Thus in summer the membrane can be removed, and in the winter it can be placed on again, creating a feeling as though you are outdoors. It allows constant daylight which illumines and refreshes space.

Architects made an interesting intervention to preserve and exhibit old manuscripts. They made special glass box, isolated from the rest of the library where the old and important manuscripts are exhibited.

The general idea of the architectural studio was to make minimal architectural intervention in the restoration of the old library building. The building was extended with a contemporary superstructure and a new wing on the north side of the building. The first floor is reserved for academic journals, while modern Turkish editions are on display on the second floor. The ground floor keeps the unique editions of the library.

Walking between the old walls one can feel the history throughout the space. The object is a fascinating journey through Islamic architecture. In the big reading room you can see a beautiful fusion of modern and old architecture.

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(Photo Credits: Emre Dörter)