A loft in Karakoy
A 180 square metre penthouse in the heart of Istanbul
Project Location: Karakoy, Istanbul Design Office: Ofist Design Team: Yasemin Arpac & Sabahattin Emir Words: Ofist Photography: Koray Erkaya
The location of this loft in Karakoy, as well as its personality, way of living and needs of the client were the main parameters in the design of this project. Karakoy had always been the heart of the commerce in Istanbul, but nowadays the old neighborhood is becoming more hip and active with new art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and hotels.
Meanwhile, the client’s personality was the designers’ main inspiration when choosing materials and creating space: natural, neutral, comfortable, and practical are the keywords.
The structural approach of the house was to open it up to being in more light and views. The previous small window openings on the front façade were enlarged, and the new folding window frames slide the width of the building to transform the living room into a balcony, since the apartment is missing one. A large rectangular skylight was inserted just below the peak of the pitch to provide light and a view of the outside to the mezzanine.
The structural approach of the house was to open it up to bring in more light and views.
The design approach of the house, however was to keep it simple, and “not to have too many ideas”. The designers evaluated the entire house as a whole and single space since its layout was to be designed for a single person’s use, and all the spaces were planned to be entwined together. There was no need to divide the space into many small rooms. Therefore, “we didn’t need different design ideas for different rooms. We came up with a few design approaches and used it all around the house.”
One of the longitudinal walls was also used as storage. A very simple system was designed with iron rods climbing two floors and running the length of the house, without living room, kitchen, library or bedroom categorisation. 12mm iron rods coming out of the wall and 16mm rods connected to them created a 60x60cm grid over the wall surface. Various shelving units and accessories were designed to fit this system, such as a single shelf, double or triple story shelves, vertical separators or hanging units. The idea was that the user could arrange and utilise this storing system however he likes; as a library, a woodshed, kitchen storage, or a wardrobe.
The other longitudinal wall facing this busy storage system was designed with as least movement as possible to create a serene side, and was covered with natural stone in varied sizes. This wall begins in the living room and continues all the way up and through the bedroom.
The cast-concrete block surface which was created to form the kitchen counter framed in an iron structure, steps down and forms itself into a cantilevering dining table, which also allows extra seating around the table.
The downstairs floor was covered with 60x60cm natural stone in an irregular angle, obtaining a casual look. It only changes to wood in the guest bedroom, which is facing north.
All throughout the mezzanine the surfaces were covered with a cement-based material, uninterrupted, for a pleasant feeling to the naked feet. This surface created the floor all around, including the shower and also the block, which nestles the bed and the bathtub.
Apart from practicality, the warmness that the house needed was achieved with a continuous ceiling of Iroko wood, that rises from the wall to the ceiling, also creating a wide seating unit in front of the window for crowded gatherings.
Finally, the cast-concrete block surface which was created to form the kitchen counter framed in an iron structure, steps down and forms itself into a cantilevering dining table and ends up as a short plinth as the hearth, which also allows extra seating around the table.