I love to see modern architecture that sits comfortably amongst traditional buildings, while creating something new and dynamic. Turkish studio, Alataş Architecture & Consulting, have done this with style and aplomb in Galata, Istanbul. The Ipera 25 apartment building is a striking sight, but does not overpower its neighbours, instead enhancing the street it graces.
The nine apartments are shaded by timber louvres and shutters that form a protective shell across the exterior at front and rear. This facade screens the upper levels from the glare and heat of the sun, but allows light to pass through and still connects those inside with the street below. This connection is achieved by the division of the wall into four vertical strips, projecting backwards and forwards at different points and revealing strips of discreet windows.
The unique design of the facade remove any coldness that can be the side effect of contemporary architecture. Large cities develop in natural directions over centuries, and we are given the impression that this structure is part of that, not placed here audaciously. The design also matches the bay windows in the surrounding buildings, interpreted with a fresh outlook.
The apartments are designed to situate the living rooms at the front of every home, allowing residents to open and close different shutters independently. In the uppermost floors of the building the two-storey penthouse features an angled ceiling that follows the pitch of the roof.
There is the thought that those wooden slats would make one feel somewhat imprisoned, but that is impression from a someone brought up in a land where every glint of light is valued. In a hot country like Turkey, respite from the sun is extremely welcome, and the structure echoes the look of traditional shutters. Take a look at the original post on Dezeen from more information and photographs.