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Restaurant in Ortaköy
Ottoman Cuisine in Ortaköy…

Restaurant in Ortaköy, 2013

The project is developed for a restaurant serving on the ground floor of a recently renovated hotel building on Vapur Iskelesi Street in Ortaköy, Istanbul. Vapur Iskelesi Street and the other surrounding streets hold an important place in the social life of the vicinity, and constitute a zone that ends with Ortaköy Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, which is an international touristic focus. In this sense, the site witnesses a considerable density of pedestrian movement.


The ground floor of the building is shared by a boutique hotel and the restaurant. For this reason, an entrance zone on the main street façade is reserved for the hotel entrance, but the perforated partitions allow visual contact between the two programs. The restaurant, which is also going to serve as an à la carte service for the hotel, will serve dishes that offer a contemporary interpretation of traditional Ottoman cuisine. The restaurant includes a bar with an impressive wine repertoire.


Ottoman cuisine by itself conjures up ready-made images for its spatial counterparts, ornamentation, and lighting. On the other hand, these reflections have been kept to a degree of minimum, so that the surrounding space would act as a background for the dishes served, without causing a distraction of foci. Briefly, the spatial organization of the restaurant comprises of three main sections: reception area, street level hall (upper hall) and bar hall (lower hall).

The reception area is located in the independent entrance of the restaurant on south. The area features a special wall for displaying the wine collection, and a reservation desk. It provides a resting zone for the visitors to wait for the preparation of their tables without interrupting other functions of the restaurant. The floors and walls are clad in darker hues to create a heavier atmosphere that differs from other sections of the restaurant.

The upper hall is separated from the reception area by 5 steps inclining towards the Vapur Iskelesi street. It is physically separated from the hotel entrance by partition walls. However, the partition walls are designed in a perforated pattern that enables visual communication between the hotel reception and the restaurant area. In this sense, the space easily merges with the hotel to serve hybrid uses such as breakfast and dinner services of the hotel.

The lower hall is the second served space of the restaurant, which also contains a bar. Like the other hall, this space is divided by permeable partition walls in order to ensure a flow of spaces. Considering the scale of the restaurant, and the openings-to-wall ratio of the surrounding buildings, the glass facades are divided with frames into smaller fragments. The dark color of the frames shift focus towards the captured views within the glass parts, and in this way enhance the conception of exteriors as an extension of the restaurant space.

The lighting fixtures are a re-interpretation of the traditional light-bulb. These units descend through the holes in wooden frames, which create interesting patterns in the ceiling throughout the day. The reception area is lit by 25 “candles” that hang from a black iron frame, and provide an intermediary level of lighting between exteriors and interiors.

The materials chosen for the project are carefully selected not to attract major attention to themselves, but rather to form a background to comply with the overall design scheme. The served spaces are clad in lighter tiles, whereas the reception zone is differentiated with darker colors to create a different atmosphere. Partition walls are perforated according to designed geometric patterns so as to create an authentic feeling and cast various shadow patterns that improve the overall feeling of space. The spoon, which holds an important place in the context of Ottoman cuisine, is emphasized as a spectacle displayed in wooden, copper, and glass units that fit into the partition walls. The bar wall, which constitutes one of the important elements of the restaurant, is clad in traditional copper with a contemporary twist.

Restaurant in Ortaköy
Restaurant in Ortaköy
Restaurant in Ortaköy
Restaurant in Ortaköy

LOCATION // İstanbul, Turkey

CONS. AREA // 210m²

TEAM // Onur Özkoç, Hakan Şanlı, Farzad Golghasemi

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