Gaspar, Istanbul, Turkey

The Karaköy district is Istanbul's one of the oldest commercial centers, with majestic office buildings, banks and warehouses forming a unique historical texture. Karaköy is now becoming witness to a comprehensive urban transformation. It has been one of the most commercially active districts for centuries and now; with its renovated buildings and avant-garde venues, the district is rapidly becoming indispensible for the contemporary social scene in Istanbul.

Completed in early 2013, Gaspar is located within a building in Karaköy, which has been operated as a printing house for nearly a century. The aim is to add a value, reinterpret the unobtrusive and comfortable character of a classic bistro / pub. The materials used during the design process and its main details refer to the streets of Karaköy that are anti-sophisticated and far from being artificial. 

The main reference of the design approach is the concept of 'Cabinet of Curiosities' - an idea that flourished in Europe during 16th century. It defines the collection of interesting and thought-provoking objects of different types, whose categorical boundaries are yet to be defined'. According to this purpose, these carefully selected objects are arranged via the 'knolling' method - grouping the objects parallel and at right angles - displayed on the plywood surfaces constituting the space.

The space itself becomes a box in which precious objects are exposed to public. The plywood panels are the most important elements of design, which are produced in different colours and sizes, and are positioned at different levels and heights in a mathematical order. This certain placement surrounding Gaspar vertically and horizontally creates a perception of randomness, arousing an unusual experience regarding the high ceilings of historic buildings. 

The staircase, which is located in the center of the 280 sq m (on first and second floors) restaurant and the illuminated glass surfaces behind the plywood panels are the key design elements that reinforce the perception of volume and enhance the feeling of depth of the space. The lighting has a rather holistic approach that highlights the idea of ​​diversity within the system while illuminating particular surfaces and objects.

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