During a recent work trip to Istanbul, Turkey (the home of façade specialists Metal Yapi http://www.metalyapi.com/projects/vhi-scots-church-extension). I took time out from a busy work schedule to explore the city.
I first took a trip to Ayasofia (Hagia Sofia), a popular tourist site at the heart of Istanbul. From its construction in 537AD to 1453 Ayasofia served as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, from 1453 to 1931 it served as an Imperial Ottoman Mosque, and is now a museum.
Although there was extensive refurbishment works ongoing, the sense of the interior quality and balance of space and colour was still absolutely mind-blowing.
The next stop was Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque) another famous tourist site. Since its completion in 1616 it has served and functioned as a popular mosque.
The interior is a careful play of minarets and domes, a testimony to traditional Islamic architecture and considered to be the last great classical mosque.
I walked through the busy dense network of street and stalls in the Kapalicarsi Gran Bazaar.
I explored the historic streetscapes, and how the buildings and streets twist and turn in counter-play with the cities geography, getting lost along the way…. sometimes by accident.
I finished my exploration at the banks of the Golden Horn at Sirkeci. The Rivers edge was a hive of hustle and bustle, with traffic, tourists and fishermen.