The Turkish Flying Carpet – Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards

İstanbul, Turkey, 2021-07-22 –
 

Alper Aytac’s design for the Golden Horn Library was selected as a 2021 Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner in the Institutional – Unbuilt category. The Golden Horn Library will be located in Galata, a historic neighborhood at the crossroads of Istanbul, Turkey’s cultural and visual memories.

The Galata District was once the Genoese quarter of the city and was surrounded by its own city walls and towers. Today, nearly all the walls are gone, but the iconic Galata Tower remains and provides the district with its identity.

The Golden Horn Library looks across the waters of the Golden Horn to the Historical Peninsula, overlooking the seven hills of Istanbul, each hill crowned with its own monument. Views include Hagia Sophia, Nuruosmaniye Mosque,  Suleymaniye Mosque, The Cistern of Mocius, Fatih Mosque, and Yavuz Selim Mosque to the southeast, and Mihrimah Sultan Mosque to the northwest. These seven hills represent the history of old Constantinople, surrounded by historic city walls. Views of the dancing domes of the seven hills, and the iconic Galata Tower, provide a silhouette of the city over the Golden Horn.

Alper Aytac states: “The Golden Horn Library was conceived as almost a “Turkish Flying Carpet”, woven by the culture and the context”. The profiles of the monuments and the axiality of the seven hills pointing towards the Galata Tower form the main roofscape, with the three closest hills inspiring the roofscape housing the functions of the library and learning center. The remaining hills, set further away, provide a smooth transition between the building and the landscape, functioning as a sort of plinth of public space between interior and exterior.

Sectionally and proportionally, the nearby Azapkapi Sokullu Mosque, designed by the great architect, Sinan, sets the precedent, with its elevated prayer hall almost floating over the city to protect the interior against bustling city noise. This strategy was duplicated in order to insulate the library and learning center from noise. Beneath, the ground level houses the busier and noisier activities of the auditorium, a spiraling children’s library, and a restaurant.

Alper Aytac states: ”The Golden Horn Library is a beacon of knowledge in the city of Istanbul, and it aims to be an instrument of connectivity between symbols of the city on both sides of the Golden Horn. It radiates energy that is injected into the city, rather than funneling energy out of the city for itself.”

Data Sheet

Principal Architect: Alper Aytac
Project Team: Hanse Yalcinkaya, Liying Wang
Landscape: Gulsen Aytac

About Aytac Architects

Alper Aytaç founded Aytaç Architects, architecture and research practice, in 2005 to develop an architecture that would transgress the normal bounds of traditional forms and materials and produce unexpected intensities with other objects/spaces/buildings.

The office operates as a laboratory with the aim of rendering space and the built environment more mobile, dynamic, and active than their previously stasis and sedentary interpretations. The office strives to create powerful and clear design solutions that are unique to each project and site. As a full-service practice, Aytaç Architects is engaged with building design, urban design, interiors, and landscape design at all scales.

Certain interests of the firm are non-architectural. The study of natural landscape formations, such as river deltas, oceans, deserts, ice flows, rock formations, forests, and canyons, affect their work in ways that explore, challenge, and move architectural space beyond codifications at various levels. The distinct characteristics of this type of space, in contrast to traditional spaces, include subtleties of territorial definitions and smoothness of transitions between spaces that resist compartmentalization. This territorial subtlety and ambiguity are best observed in the city of Istanbul, where the office is located. It is the only city in the world that connects/disconnects two continents.

For more information


  1. www.aytacarchitects.com

  2. architizer.com/projects/the-golden-ho…

Media contact

Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - View towards the Library Entry - Photo credit: Alper Aytac View towards the Library Entry

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - View towards the Historical Peninsula - Photo credit: Alper Aytac View towards the Historical Peninsula

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - View from the Golden Horn - Photo credit: Alper Aytac View from the Golden Horn

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - View towards the Galata Tower - Photo credit: Alper Aytac View towards the Galata Tower

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - View towards the Historical Peninsula - Photo credit: Alper Aytac View towards the Historical Peninsula

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - Children's Library - Photo credit: Alper Aytac Children’s Library

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - Model view roof removed - Photo credit: Orhan KolukisaModel view roof removed

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - Model view - Photo credit: Orhan KolukisaModel view

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - Model view - Photo credit: Orhan KolukisaModel view

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Press kit | 5649-01 - Press release | The Turkish Flying Carpet - Alper Aytac’s Golden Horn Library wins Architizer A+Awards - Aytac Architects - Institutional Architecture - Model view - Photo credit: Orhan KolukisaModel view

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