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Büke Uras: Balyans, Reinterpreting Ottoman Architecture through Sarkis Balyan’s Archive

October 26, 2021
20.00 (UK time)
Booking and tickets through eventbrite

Anglo-Turkish Society, angloturkishsociety.org.uk


A talk by the author of a lavishly produced, important new book on the Balyan dynasty, three generations of court architects responsible for Dolmabahçe, Beylerbeyi and many other late Ottoman landmarks in Istanbul.

The Balyan architectural practice was begun by Krikor Balyan (1764–1831) who was followed in turn by his son Garabed (1800–66) and grandsons Nigoğos (1826–58), Sarkis (1831–99) and Hagop (1838–75). Their personal histories were fascinatingly intertwined with the Ottoman social life. The Balyans never recorded their architectural thoughts and their architecture could only be evaluated in the light of their architectural legacy. The journalist and author Viscount Alfred de Caston pioneered Balyan historiography. Uras’s new book provides a comprehensive review and description of the drawings reflecting the design processes of imperial constructions, most of which belong to the Balyan Family Architecture Archive recently opened to research, and aims to introduce a new approach to the history of the Balyan practice through the unconstructed buildings, as well as the constructed buildings.

The book, which will soon be available from Cornucopia. includes drawings of Beylerbeyi, Çırağan and Fer’iye palaces, the extension project for the Yıldız Palace’s Büyük Mâbeyn Kiosk and the decoration project for the Şale Kiosk’s Dining Hall, where the Çırağan Palace’s doors with mother-of-pearl inlay were reused, the renovation proposal for Bâb-ı Âli, the plan of the Esma Sultan Mansion in Kabataş, and much more besides.


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