Monday, January 2, 2017


Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'45.1"N 28°58'30.8"E / 41.029194, 28.975222

Botter Apartment / Beyoglu - Istanbul photo botter_apartment101.jpg


Sultan Abdul Hamid II had all his clothes and the dresses of the women inside the palace made by the Netherlander tailor Jean Botter. For years and on and on Botter made clothes for the folk of the palace and the Ottoman notables who pattern themselves on the folk of the palace. Botter was someone irreplaceable to the Sultan who didn’t trust anybody and therefore the Sultan gave Botter a permission to have an apartment for his own.

Jean Botter who made clothes for the people of Istanbul had Italian Ricardo Tommaso D’Aranco – the official architect of the imperial palace of the period – built him a beautiful apartment next to the Sweden Consulte in Pera and this afterwars led to the first example of  Art Nouveou movement which would later spread to the whole Beyoğlu. At the same time it was the first fashion studio of Turkey.

The Botter apartment building designed by D’Aronco was one of the earliest examples of Art noveu style apartments built on Cadde-Kebir (later Istiklal Caddesi) in the Pera district of Istanbul. The seven story apartment building was built in 1901 for the Dutch Palace Tailor of Sultan Abdulhamit II, to be used as his workshop as well as a residence for his family. The apartment building with it’s stained glass windows, carved flower motives and iron flourishes on the facade were examples of  D’Aronco's creativity influenced by flowery ornamentation and rectilinear arrangements of Japanese graphic art.

The building was constructed for Dutch tailor and fashion designer of the day, Jean Botter. The building indicates high construction techniques of its era. The stained glass Windows and Stone and curvaceous wrought iron flourishes on the facade designed by the architect D’Aronco.

Casa Botter (Botter Apartmanı) (1900–1901), a seven-story workshop and residence building in İstiklâl Avenue in Beyoğlu, which he designed for the sultan’s Dutch fashion tailor M. Jean Botter, represents a turning point in D’Aronco’s architecture. This Art Nouveau design in the avant-garde mood of the period compounded D’Aronco’s already enviable reputation. While living in Graz at fourteen, he had also found the chance to follow the Austrian Secession more closely than most of his compatriots.

Botter Apartment is the first example of Art Nouveau movement in İstanbul. The building is designed by the italian architect  D’Aranco in 1900. The owner of the building was J. Botter who was the official tailor of the imperial palace. The building is located in Asmalımescit district of Beyoglu, İstanbul. It is listed as a historical building of 1st degree.

The limestone facade of the building was suffering mainly of the formation of black crusts and surface erosion of various depth. Two types of limestones are used in the facade. The soft limestone is principally used  in the decorated parts of the facade.

The aim of the study was to characterize the materials used in the facade, to understand the alteration mechanisms and propose conservation tretments in order to slow down the deterioration of the materials. The mapping of the materials and damages are prepared and laboratory experiments were carried out on the samples taken from the altered and sound part of the facade. The whole data obtained by these observations and experiments are used to establish the conservation treatment.

The first owner of this appartment build by R. D'Aronco in 1900 is the tailor and stylist of the Ottoman Palace Jean Botter. The project of the apartment is saved in the archives of the Udine City Museum. The firts art nouveau style example in Istanbul, the appartment was the working and living space of Botter.

The ground floor was used as Jean Botter’s atelier and store. And the upper floors were reserved for Jean Botter and his family. This beautiful building which was decorated with engravings stood as a fashion studio and  place of residence for Jean Botter and his family till the end of the World War I. After the war, because of the abolition of the sultanate the financial aid was cut and because of the unceasing wars which impoverished the public, the people of Istanbul didn’t want to waste their money on fashion.

Therefore Botter sold his apartment to Mahmut Nedim Oymar who was the son of an Ottoman Vizier and later moved in to Paris. Mahmut Nedim married with a beautiful woman “Zeynep Hanım” but they couldn’t have children. After their passing away, their distant relatives started a vain quarrel on the claim of the apartment. After all, the Botter Apartment was abandoned.

In 1960 the ground floor houses a bank branch and the stairs are changed. Every detail in teh building was done by Aronco himself, evet the elevator. Today the building waits for its new owners to be restored. Once Was Splendid - Graffiti on the ornate doorway of the art nouveau style Botter apartment building

The building is pretty much in ruins today and covered with plastic and wooden construction panels and the walkway in front of the building has a safety structure to protect pedestrians from falling debris. As of this writing there no signs of remodelling in sight.


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