The Palace was originally built as the Sultan’s summer residence in 1871 and was converted to a luxury hotel in 1992 after a complete renovation.
In 1991 I had the chance to work on this project. The exterior renovation (marble facade) was done and the interior renovation was beginning. The scope of work included 13 luxury suites: the Sultan Suite is one of the largest suites in Europe having 500m² of space and offering panoramic views of the Bosphorus and exclusive service to its guests. The overall interior style was inspired from the Ottoman lifestyle and a mix of 19th century luxury European hotels with entirely custom design and finishes.
The local company I worked for had a partnership with a large Japanese interior design firm, Mitsukoshi, and it was great to work with Japanese designers. My role as a young architect involved construction drawings in the beginning but moved to the site office during construction, where I was responsible for coordinating all finishing works production between designers and suppliers. This included flooring, drapery, bedding, painting, washrooms with gold plated faucets, 10’ high solid wood doors, millwork, moldings, specially designed wall fabrics, large marble bathtubs traditionally carved from a large slab (they had to open back service walls to roll the tub in).
The Sultan Suite drawing room wall tiles were meant to mimic the traditional Iznik style which mostly used turquoise tones and tulip forms. I also had the chance to work with a local fashion designer on the house-keepers’ and butler’s outfits.
- Fatma Aktas