Istinye U House

Apartment design, 375 m²
İstanbul, Turkey, 2022

The Istinye U-house is a double-story penthouse in the renowned Nida Park Residences located in one of Istanbul’s finest neighborhoods; İstinye. The compound’s strategic location grants the project stunning views on the rich landscape of the neighborhood as well as the turquoise waters of the Bosphorus. Taking into consideration these site assets along with the family’s needs, the two floors of U-House have been planned accordingly. In parallel to his strong bond with his two children, the client has an intense social life as well that he proudly holds onto. Merging these different, yet powerful lifestyles in one setting has been the main challenge of this project.

The first floor is entirely dedicated to the family’s private living spaces; two separate children’s bedrooms, one parental suite, a living room, a ghost kitchenette and a pair of lavatories. As for the upper floor, a rather main open space that functions as a modern-day garçonniere has been designed for more relaxed times composed of a living room, a dining area and a bedroom separated by a vertical wine cabinet.The other side of this space is assigned to the service area, notably a kitchen,a cloakroom / laundry, and staff accommodation.  

Considering the regular shape of the plot and the sceneries it offers, the layout scenario had been passively guided by these assets. The private rooms are mainly oriented towards the calming landscape views while the more energetic spaces face the city lights drowning in the Bosphorus. Experimenting an open layout in a fully functional dwelling unit has been a challenge in terms of finding the right balance between home coziness and cosmopolitan ambiance. To enhance both of these poles, geometric elements such as the inclined roof ceiling that has been preserved and merged with the design and the neutral tones of the furniture formed a solid base for rather pop interventions. This is openly manifested through the monochrome furniture and art pieces in a striking Scarlet red that work as a hint to the edgy side of U-House.

That being said, the distinct integration of art in various forms has relentlessly enhanced the project indifferent ways. The “Zebra” mural in the upper floor’s living room has been manually realized by an artist that symbolizes the aura of the client who praises handcraftsmanship. In addition to that, two adjacent yet complementary metallic art sculptures have been designed and produced in a shiny red coat that connect the dining room with the bedroom area in a way to portray two opposing sides of the personality. These are undoubtedly the extrovert solid side of us facing the living area rival to the more introvert and vulnerable side facing the bedroom area in a simple, yet loud symbolic.

U-House is a full customized space shaped around its users. For that, the designers stretched the personalization limits. Right by the entrance, a continuous mural cabinet that is given multiple purposes, such as a kitchenette, a TV unit, shelves, niches,all in one volume is designed. This corridor-long piece organizes the space and maintains a cohesive lateral side using handcrafted covers in an irregular repetitive pattern to add light movement and break the longevity and massiveness of the cabinet. In all the bedrooms too, custom vanities have been designed as per the personality of each family member. For example, a vivid watch display has been integrated in the parental suite’s vanity as the client owns a watch collection that he wanted to showcase and use easily.

Overall, dwelling design has proven to work properly when the users are directly involved in the design process. However, shaping their requests in creative ways remains the architect’s job. This is shown in the design solutions provided to lodge the entire program in the unit as well as the styling that elevates the look of the space. Particular attention to vital elements such as lighting, textures,fabric and colors is the driving motor of design.