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Karakoy Loft by Ofist, Istanbul


The Karakoy Loft by Turkish architecture studio Ofist is a 180smq penthouse belonging to a 45 year old bachelor, in the heart of Istanbul. Natural, neutral, comfortable, and practical, the residence was designed around the client’s outdoorsy personality. The location of the house as well as the 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. Nowadays the old neighborhood is getting more hip and active with many new art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and hotels all around. The house is situated right in the middle of this hustle and bustle.


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. And a large rectangular skylight was inserted just below the peak of the pitch to provide light and view to the mezzanine.

Architects 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 was planned to be entwined together. There was no need for dividing the space into many small rooms.


One of the longitudinal walls was resolved as storage. A very simple system was designed with iron rods climbing two floors and running the length of the house, without categorizing as living room, kitchen, library or bedroom. 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 user may arrange and utilize 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 least movement as possible to create a serene side and was covered with natural stone in varied sizes. This wall starts in the living room and continues all the way up and through the bedroom.

Apart from practicality, the warmness that the house needed was achieved with a continuous ceiling of iroko wood, that rise from the wall to the ceiling, creating also 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.

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all images © KORAY ERKAYA