Beyazıt State Library

CompanyTabanlioglu Architects
Lead DesignerMelkan Gürsel & Murat Tabanlioglu
PrizePlatinum in Architectural Design / Restoration & Renovation

LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS Beyazıt State Library is the oldest and the largest library in İstanbul, founded in 1884 as the “Kütüphane-i Umumi-i Osmani”. The Library can be found in Beyazıt Square adjacent to Beyazıt Mosque built by Sultan Beyazıt II and completed in 1506. Beyazıt Square is today the most vibrant space in the old part of the city. The restoration of the State Library has involved the sensitive reorganization of the interior and careful restoration of the building fabric with its prominent multi-domed roof. A modest extension, respectful of the scale of the existing building has been added to the northeast façade of the existing Library. The area around the State Library is infused with historical connections of a literary nature. The book bazaar, a courtyard on the site of the Byzantine book and paper store, can be found to the south east of the Mosque and can be entered either from Beyazıt Square or from the Grand Bazaar via the Beyazıt Gate. The restoration of the Beyazıt State Library is exemplary. The ‘minimal intervention’ approach ensures the spirit of the place survives while modern facilities are grafted onto the historic fabric.