Osmanbey, Turkey
Ali Bekman


Ofist as Interior Architects

Viyolet, designed by Yasemin Arpaç and Sabahattin Emir, founders of architectural studio Ofist, is a calm and timeless showroom in Istanbul, Osmanbey. The streets are in a mix of luxury, history, chaos and it’s a total contrast of this out of it’s time showroom. Viyolet is a showroom for a prêt-a- porter distributor in Istanbul. Behind the chic and trendy neighborhood of Nisantasi, where the high society of Istanbul enjoys their daily vices, lies the once fashionable but today’s lurky although still expensive Osmanbey, where the prêt-a- porter industry flourishes. Viyolet is located on the first floor of a building which faces a long and narrow street where the hustle and bustle - of loading and unloading of goods- of Osmanbey is witnessed on a daily routine. Osmanbey is an area of streets where hundreds of distributors and stockers exhibit their collections. There is a jumble of trends as far as the showrooms go. Our aim was to create a space that contrasted this chaotic environment and the general tendency of the showroom designs of Osmanbey. As you enter the space, the interior suggests a serene and sterile environment away from the chaotic street life below. The program of the workspace and showroom is not evident at first glance. The repetitive rings sweeping the four planes of the space hypnotizes the visitor. Our driving concept was first to create a generic ring like a big, white, chopped French baguette, that would later multiply itself along the thin and long space into different configurations, moulding itself along the long and narrow space according to the needs of the client, thus creating a homogeneous environment with an illusion of enlarging. The rings serve several programs at once such as in the case where the wardrobes for displaying the collection are hidden behind the smooth finished surface, on the other side the same continuous surface folds and forms the seating facing the same collection. The space has no hard corners. The formal articulation was made possible through the use of mdf over metal construction and a careful application of epoxy paint, rendering the surfaces to a sleek white finish. When we showed the sketch proposal to our clients they were very excited but still had doubts, certainly our proposal was alien to the context of Osmanbey. The interior suggest as if a scene of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001’ spaceship has been slotted in. Yet the design has a subtle intelligence of transitionary tectonics such as in the case where the smooth surface of the floor changes into pixels in the form of small and round black glass mosaic tiles covering all surfaces (the floor, the ceiling and the side walls) of the restroom and the kitchenette standing like a black shiny spot. There were only a few of the furniture left to be chosen since the rings were also in part acting as furniture. Some decorative chic accessories and furnitures such as Eames chairs from Vitra, Piero Lissoni seat and Philippe Starck wheel chair from Kartell as well as some lighting elements were to decorate the space. The cloth hanger and coffee table are designed by Ofist.

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