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Pertev Apartment Building

Istanbul, Turkey
Pertev Apartment Building, a view from the corner.jpg
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depicted item: Pertev Apartment Building, a view from the corner. source: Vedat, N. (1933). “Pertev Apartımanı”, Arkitekt, No: 2, pp. 44-46. URL:http://dergi.mo.org.tr/dergiler/2/89/936.pdf

Pertev Apartment Building in Talimhane was built on a narrow triangular plot of land on the main street leading from Taksim square to Harbiye.

In the parcellation of Talimhane Square, many plots on corners formed narrow angled polygons since the roads were not parallel or perpendicular to each other. Therefore it was very important and challenging to arrange a convenient plan for such land. Various architects have prepared a plan for this apartment building, and eventually, the owner preferred Nihat Vedat's plan.

This conspicuous building consists of a basement, a ground floor, and five storeys. On the ground floor, there are shops and the entrance to the building. A smaller floor was later added over the top floor, which receded from the building boundary. The vertical ornamental strips on the façade and the polygonal top-floor windows are reminiscent of traditional architecture. The narrow corner façade ending in curved eaves is enriched with circular balconies.

The reinforced concrete columns surrounding the shops on the ground floor were covered with marble. Each apartment had two living rooms, a dining room, two bedrooms and a maid's room, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a toilet. According to the introductory text published in Arkitekt magazine, the external plaster of the facade was supplemented with American branded (Hydroteks) putty, to ensure its protection from moisture.[2]


Today, the building is still in use and is well-maintained. It is a significant example of apartment buildings representing the development and evolution of the residential concept of 20th-century Istanbul. It is a particular example where contemporary technology is used in design with local and contemporary tendencies.

As one of the rare examples of the 1930s which does not reflect a pure modernist attitude, the building reflects the hesitancy of the designers. Constructed under the influence of Art Déco at the intersection with modernism, the building is an essential component of Talimhane's architectural integrity. During the "Early Republic Period" (1928-1938), the influence of Art Déco is quite visible through the urban fabric of Talimhane, where qualified examples of apartment building designs at the intersection of Art Deco and modernism can be found.

The design is a crossbreed between the Modern Movement, its contemporaries such as Art Déco and former historicist styles; hesitant in its reflection of the iconic modern forms and still making use of historicist vocabulary but confident in the use of contemporary construction techniques, which helped develop those forms. This hesitancy, in part, arises from the designer Vedat Tek, who was one of the founders of Neo-Ottoman style in 1900s and one of its most prominent and canonic executors during the last decade of the Ottoman Empire (1910-1920) and the first decade following the young Republic (1923-1933), a period at the end of which he lost his stylistic leadership due to the preference of the Modern Movement with reference to the principles of national modernisation.

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