Vi avevo dato qualche anticipazione sul bellissimo restauro della biblioteca ottomana di Beyazıt, la prima biblioteca pubblica di Istanbul costruita nel complesso della moschea omonima nel 1884; adesso potete leggere l’articolo completo pubblicato su Al-Monitor: “Will Turkey’s oldest library sweep Aga Khan prize?” (sì, il progetto è stato selezionato tra quelli in lizza per il premio triennale)
Qui sul blog, trovate qualche passaggio e soprattutto l’aggiunta di alcune mie foto:
Standing in the heart of Roman Constantinople, next to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and its open air market of secondhand books and manuscripts, the Beyazit State Library demonstrates that a 19th-century Ottoman edifice can retain its character and still serve the public on a daily basis.
The oldest public library in Turkey, the Beyazit State Library was founded by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1884 by converting a few buildings of a 16th-century complex that contained a mosque, a caravansary with stables, a hospice and a soup kitchen for the poor.
The caravansary and the attached stables, with their multi-domes and a multicolored roof, were turned into the library and a wooden cabinet — made by Abdulhamid II whose skills in carpentry matched his mastery in political chessboard — was put in the main room.
The library’s collection has more than 1 million works, including more than 800,000 printed books, more than 25,000 rare manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish, maps and even money. Since 1934, it gets a copy of all books published in Turkey.
Manuscripts and other precious items — some of them badly preserved in the past — have been put in the limelight, shown on shelves in big glass boxes in the center of two of the three reading rooms. The lighting designed by the Studio Dinnebier from Germany — gentle and indirect — makes use of black round chandeliers, similar in design to those in 15th-century mosques.
After four years, it has now been short-listed for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Prestigious and well-endowed (the total sum disbursed amounts to $1 million), the prize is assigned every three years to outstanding projects that not only show technical and aesthetic excellence, but also improve the overall quality of life of Muslim societies. The winners for 2019 will be announced later this year.