A Historic Levantine Apartment in Turkey Gets a Modern Update

09.12.14 | By
A Historic Levantine Apartment in Turkey Gets a Modern Update

The Gabriel Apartment is a modern renovation of a historic building which was originally designed by Italian architect Guglielmo Semprini, one of the Levantines of Istanbul.

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Known for being architects called in to help modernize architecture in the 19th century, the Levantines also managed to respect the Ottoman tradition. As so, when architecture company Atelye70 was called in to once again design the space, they were sure to preserve the original Levantine touch.

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The apartment used to be the last floor of a palace, and was specifically for the servants’ quarters. At that time, the floor was characterized by decorative frescos, which was the first thing that the architects focused on.

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The original white plaster was removed, bringing more light in to highlight the fresco.

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The original wooden floor was preserved, while the roof was completely redone, exposing the wooden beams.

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In the bedroom, the architects continued to prioritize maintenance of the frescos, and created sliding closet spaces to preserve the look. Natural spruce, white, black, and dark granite were chosen to maintain a neutral palette that highlighted the historical features of the apartment.

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Photos by Emrah Aydemir.

After surviving a quarter life crisis, Nanette went from working in healthcare canadian meds to pursuing her loves of design, food and writing. During the day she works in social media marketing, by night she writes for Design Milk. You can find more of her work at