2007 Istanbul Braces

Those were the years when my wife and I fell in love with the venerable city that was, not so long ago, known as Costantinople.

We started exploring for a house to renovate in Galata. Therefore it made sense to lean on an Estanbulì architect, also in view of a future professional partnership. Common friends introduced me to a freshly graduated engineer who had been commissioned to renovate a crumbling early XXth century building in the central Istiklal street. Only the ornate carved stone facade could be still saved, but needed massive reinforcements on the street side, while the rest of the mansion was rebuilt from scratch.

Rather than constructing a graceless temporary structure (to then be concealed behind canvas for the duration of the renovation works), half-joking I proposed that the steel scaffolding should be “designed”, so to acquire an aesthetic quality of its own and be left in full view. This way the historic facade would also remain visible and show the effort being made to preserve the city historic heritage.

From this concept I developed the design of a strong primary structure made of welded steel girders, that would support a lighter scaffolding usable by the construction workers, while cleaning and restoring the architectural details of the facade.

Once in place, I realized the scaffolding orthogonal structure had Sol Lewitt quality….