S House by Tanju Özelgin
Turkish base interior designer Tanju Özelgin has completed the S House in Istanbul, Turkey.
Çubuklu Valley is a private residential development located in a forested area of the district of Beykoz in the northern Bosphorus area of Istanbul. This development features a group of modern homes designed by Istanbul practice Emre Arolat Architects in 2006 integrated into the hilly landscapes of this suburban district. In this way, the Cubuklu Valley project is an important example of a gated community that has become a popular residential typology in Istanbul’s urban growth. In contrast to many of the projects in this suburban area using traditional design styles, the Cubuklu Valley design is a decidedly modern and contemporary interpretation of the suburban house and garden type.
The design of the interiors of these homes was left to the individual owners initiatives. One of the most original of these was the design for the S House by the Istanbul-based product and interior designer Tanju Özelgin in 2011. Özelgin known for his simple and direct approach to space, form and design in the interior for the S House harmoniously combined the natural setting with the owner’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. The simple, pure and functional architectural style in this residence designed by Özelgin, adopts Emre Arolat’s Çubuklu Valley’s original architectural concept of spaces interacting with nature furthering it through a strategy of using natural stone and wood textures making the interiors an extension of the natural environment.
The S House consists of approximately 400m2 of interior space and 480m2 of landscape and garden area. The owner’s expectation for the interior design was for a modern look integrating natural elements around light toned living spaces. Modern conveniences and home technologies would need to be subtly weaved into the interiors to create a cosmopolitan urban setting.
Due to the plot situated on a sloped area, the entrance to the house is located in the top floor and in line with the client’s demand; every floor was designed with a different concept. At the entrance floor, three bedrooms were requested, one of them for the owner. The middle floor consists of a kitchen that serves the entire house, whereas the ground floor is conceived as a daily living area furnished with electronic equipment, a steam room and a sauna as required in the client brief.
Bedrooms, located on the entrance floor as per the owner’s brief, are separated and isolated from the entrance by using sliding doors. Located at the entrance floor, guest rooms were organized to meet all visitors’ needs and additionally one of the rooms was also conceived as a study area. One of the most remarkable details on the top floor is the dressing cubicle, which positioned in the middle of the room, is enclosed with a light tulle curtain. In this way, the dressing cube is lit with the natural sunlight coming from the exterior while the need for artificial lighting is reduced to a minimum and integrated with the natural environment. This concept is continued in the shower and washbasin spaces by using substantially opaque and permeable materials, gaining the maximum benefit of sunlight.
In general the middle floor is designed in a more robust approach than the other spaces due to the use of continuous natural surfaces. The walls are covered with natural stone tiles separating the kitchen from the living room, hiding the kitchen without impeding the fluidity between the two volumes. As with the top floor, a sliding door is also used in the entrance of the living room, isolating the room from the elevator and stairwell spaces. The ground floor of the house is designed as a garden floor that opens to the poolside outdoor living areas. There are three different functions of this floor; television and cinema units at one side, bookshelf and dining table in the middle. Steam room, sauna, whirlpool bath and shower also located on this floor. These spaces are separated from the other volumes with tulle curtains and sliding glass doors.
One of most striking characteristics of the S House interior design by Tanju Özelgin is how it reflects the energy of the surrounding natural environment within the house through a combination of stone and wood surfaces. Many of the details throughout the living spaces support this design approach focused on natural textures. The natural stone material used on either the floor or walls of the bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, kitchen and halls completes the all-encompassing pure and light color palette of the house. In other areas this stone treatment enables nature to have a presence especially in the garden floor acting as an extension of the garden. The sandblasted surfaces of the Gray Line marble from Italy are treated to prevent the stone from changing its original color. Especially in the bathroom and shower zones, the natural stone surfaces in 60 x 60 cm and 80 x 80 cm marble panels continue from the ground to the walls to give the material a three dimensional effect strengthening the feeling of the unity of the interior with the exterior environment.
Another material pattern contributes to this feeling are the round natural stones that sit in a bed under the open-stepped staircase. These small round stones create an organic, natural feeling in the house, an untouched territory that is an extension of the garden into the house. Instead of surrounding the sides of the bed of stones with concrete, Tanju Özelgin emphasized the feeling that nature is seeping into the interiors with texture and depth by a using a massive carved wood panel on the rear wall. This wood panel provides a dark and warmer contrast to the hard stone surfaces. In a similar way, wood is also used as flooring in the garden and pool and in present in the materials for the dining table. Wood surfaces in the bedrooms and living room in the form of oak laminated flooring are also continued into the garden. Similar natural materials complement each other in combinations of stone and wood textures throughout the design, their design character and energy deriving from the natural environment that is present throughout the interiors. Overall there is a harmony of geometry and materials that makes the setting a serene, calm and above in tune with the nature of its surroundings.
The lighting arrangement designed throughout the house is balanced with the materials and surfaces. Artificial lighting was used indirectly to keep the calm and neutral atmosphere in many of the spaces. However when lighting display units were featured as design objects, a direct lighting element was chosen. In this way, the atmosphere in the living areas is generally dim, with only specific points where it is channeled into light niches and particular areas.
The S House interior design in Çubuklu Valley by Tanju Özelgin’s uses stone surfaces, lighting and an advanced artistic sensibility to create a modern and distinctive interior design style. The context in the forests of Istanbul provides the designer the opportunity to create a space for living in tune with nature but with a high-minded lifestyle aspirations of the client. Özelgin known for his subtle treatment of space has in this interior advanced his design aesthetic into a subtle fusion of nature and form.
Photography by Tanju Özelgin
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