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Refurbishment of the Year

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The library forms part of the Beyazıt Mosque, the oldest surviving imperial mosque in the city, completed in 1506.  

Founded in 1884, the State Library building is the oldest in Turkey. 

The exemplary updating and fine-tuning of the State Library by Tabanlioglu Architects involved the sensitive re-organization of the interior and careful restoration of the building fabric with its prominent multi-domed roof.  

In place of the former concrete roof, a light and transparent inflatable membrane structure was installed which covers the courtyard, filtering the daylight and providing a controlled atmosphere. 

In the renovated shell of the building, black glass boxes devoted to ancient manuscripts stand as mysterious monolithic objects in stark contrast to their surroundings.

The ‘minimal intervention’ approach to the restoration ensures the spirit of the place survives while modern facilities are grafted onto the historic fabric. 

Judges’ comments include:

  • Refurbishing the oldest State Library of its country
  • An exemplary updating and fine-tuning of a historic building
  • Sensitive interior  re-organisation and building restoration
  • Upgrading its historic fabric with minimal intervention

Related images

  • Refurbishment.JPG
  • 01_TA_Beyaz State Library_Reading Room_Emre Dorter.jpg
  • 04_TA_Beyaz-State Library_Book Shelves_Emre Dorter copy.jpg
  • 05_TA_Beyaz- State Library_Courtyard_Emre Dorter.jpg

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