Folding windows ensure an unobstructed view of Karaköy
Folding windows ensure an unobstructed view of Karaköy

Real penthouse: Turkish delight


Home to a confirmed bachelor, this Istanbul penthouse offers all the creature comforts with plenty of modern twists

Situated in the hustle and bustle of Karaköy, Istanbul, a light-filled apartment intertwines earthy materials and futuristic pieces to create the perfect abode for the modern gentleman. With views of the Armenian Getronagan church and Galata Tower, the space was deliberately opened up to suit the personality of the owner — and it’s safe to say the brief was successfully met.

Once known as Galata, Karaköy is one of the oldest and most historic districts of Istanbul. But the ancient area

A standout feature of the penthouse is the timber wall — sourced from African iroko wood — that extends all the way to the ceiling of the loft upstairs. A cocoon-like feeling is evoked by the curved ceiling that connects the two areas together.
has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, turning into an epicentre of culture brimming with restaurants, hotels and art galleries, making it the perfect foundation for a unique and modern penthouse.

Design team Yasemin Arpac and Sabahattin Emir of Ofist in Istanbul sought to transform the penthouse, occupying just 180m², and create the illusion of space by enlarging small window openings and inserting a skylight to create a view to the mezzanine. The flow of the apartment is uninterrupted and consistent, with all the rooms blending together and ultimately maintaining the same neutral design aesthetic.

With a confined space comes the issue of storage, however a simple solution was the use of 12mm iron rods. Spanning two levels and running the entire length of the house, a 60cm x 60cm grid covers the surface of the walls to hold a TV, books and various household items — problem solved. The other longitudinal wall of the home was covered in natural stone, maintaining a friendly, neutral balance.

The spacious bathroom, featuring a luxurious marbled white wall with black vein, juxtaposes the wooden panels in the bedroom. Clean, crisp and minimalist, the space boasts a white colour scheme, with frosted glass encasing the rainforest shower. A touch of modernism is introduced into the area by the industrial basin and neutral walls.

To ensure consistency, the flooring of the penthouse is the same throughout the entire space. Comprising a cement-based material by Hit Design, it was chosen for its “pleasant feeling on the feet”, according to the design team.

The living room introduces some colour into the penthouse, with pops of red from the cushions and auburn-glowing hanging lights. Storage is again cleverly facilitated, with a slim cut-in shelf housing CDs. Three spherical black ottomans line the stone coffee table, adding a functional but arty touch to the space.

A unique fireplace serves as the focal point of the room. It sits directly opposite the folding window frames that slide the entire width of the structure, creating a balcony space complete with a picturesque view.

The floating staircase is an architectural marvel in itself and the rugged and raw-looking material of the stairs adds an industrial edge to the penthouse, with a black suspending rail leading guests to the loft bedroom in style.

The open-plan nature of the penthouse enables the kitchen to flow right into the living room. A six-seater table joins the stone bench complete with cooktop and washer and dryer on the other side; once again, addressing the space issue in a subtle and convenient manner for the homeowner. With the stunning views of Karaköy just steps away, it’s easy to envision a casual dinner taking place in this on-trend abode.

Unique, neutral and bursting with character, this Karaköy penthouse is proof good design doesn’t require limitless space and over-the-top antics. Instead, an emphasis on light, earthy materials and innovative space-saving techniques reign supreme.


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Photography by Koray Erkaya