In the middle of the noisiest district of İstanbul, Mecidiyeköy, there is a signature building towering one of the most frequented shopping malls of the city. People come and go by without noticing it! Even I, though I live there, pass by without paying much attention. But yesterday while crossing the street, I held my head high and looked at its tired façade. I am using adjective ‘’tired’’ here, because it really looked so!
I am talking about İstanbul Hukukçular Sitesi or in English, İstanbul Lawyers’ Complex.
I have a distant memory from my childhood related to this building. My father knew someone living there and some day we went to visit that person. Why? I don’t know! We were little, me and my younger sister, so important things were not to be discussed with little ones.
We were living in one of the quite parts of the city, on the Bosphorus, far from the madding crowd of the downtown. So a trip to Mecidiyeköy was already something exciting! On top of that, this modern building with its elevators, uneven floor planning, several entrances, very European looking shape and colour, long corridors and many apartment doors was more than exotic! In our building we were only four families but here we couldn’t even to count the door bells at the main gate! That many!
It was built by two pioneer architects, Haluk Baysal and Melih Birsel, at the beginning of the 60’s. Inspired by the legendary Unite’ D’Habitation of Le Corbusier in Marseille, they created this ‘’SİTE’’ with its social areas on the top floor, technical service departments and commercial units at the bottom and housing floors in between. That was a revolutionary initiative for that time! It has been copied by others for a long period but today, it is not as it used to be than. It’s changed! It has lost from its originality due to the changes made along these years.
But yesterday, I just stopped, I watched the building with attention, took a picture. People passing by, turned their eyes up to see what I was looking at and then looked at me with curious expressions.
I didn’t say anything to anyone…
But I decided to do it more often…