Alper Aytaç’s Golden Horn Library wins an award

Architizer, one of the prestigious platforms of the world, announced the winners of the Architizer A+Awards, which it held for the ninth time this year. Alper Aytaç’s Haliç Library Project became the winner of the Architizer A+ Jury Award in 2021, in the category of public projects.

Architizer A+ Award program, carried out by Architizer, a New York-based platform for sharing architecture, interior design projects, and design products, evaluates many projects worldwide every year. Alper Aytaç was the only winner from Turkey with his Golden Horn Library project in the competition among more than 5000 participants from over 100 countries this year.

The A+ Awards go beyond the architectural community. The projects are evaluated by more than 400 distinguished luminaries from fields as diverse as fashion, publishing, product design, real estate development, and tech. Architects shape every space and place where people spend their lives. Architizer aims to remind the world how important architecture is with A+Awards.

After a year of social and environmental challenges created by the pandemic, the theme of 2021 was determined as “Architecture for a Changing World”. In this edition, A+ Awards reward architects and designers who aim to design more resilient living spaces for future generations.

Alper Aytaç’s Haliç Library won the 2021 Architizer A+ Jury Award in the category of public projects. The design, reminiscent of a flying carpet, is located in the historical Galata region, on the shore of the Golden Horn, which is the crossroad of Istanbul’s cultural and visual consciousness.

The Golden Horn Library was designed as a flying carpet touching the region and culture in which it is located. The 7 hills, which are the symbols of Istanbul, and the silhouette created by the monumental structures on these hills, give the roof of the building its shape. The 3 most prominent hills and the Galata Tower silhouette form the roof of the section that houses the main library and study areas. Smaller and distant hills soften the ground/landscape relationship of the building, creating a public space between the interior and exterior. Thus, it creates a smooth transition area at the entrance.

The nearby Azapkapi Sokullu Mosque by the great architect Sinan was used as a precedent where its prayer hall is lifted up, keeping inside away from the noise of the busy city. The noisier ground level houses all services including an auditorium, a spiraling children’s library, and a restaurant. The study area and the main library are located above, just like the prayer hall of the Sokullu Mosque. Alper Aytaç defines the project as “The Golden Horn Library aims to be a tool that sheds light on the knowledge of Istanbul and connects the symbols of the city on both sides of the Golden Horn.”

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