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Azaryan Mansion

Azaryan Mansion

Azaryan Mansion

Azaryan Mansion, a historical mansion located on the street Büyükdere Piyasa Caddesi in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul. The building, which currently houses the Sadberk Hanım Museum, was built at the start of the twentieth century on the site of an old burnt-out dwelling. The architect was Andon Kazazyan, who was commissioned by Armenian businessman Bedros Azaryan. Bought by Vehbi Koç in 1950, the mansion continued to be used as the family’s summer residence until 1978. Between 1978 and 1980, it was converted into a museum as part of a restoration project devised by the architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem and opened as the Sadberk Hanım Museum in 1980.

According to rumor, locals dubbed the building Vidalı Yalı, meaning literally “house of screws,” due to materials being brought from outside and mounted onto the facade. The building covers an area of 400 square meters and is located in a garden of 4,280 square meters, which borders the grounds of the Russian Summer Embassy behind. As in many other residences on the Bosporus, the garden is landscaped and enclosed by trees.

Built using the bagdadi technique (wattle and daub) over stone, the building layout is in the style called karnıyarık (literally “split belly”). The building, which consists of five floors including a basement and attic level, contains 33 rooms, four anterooms and three entrances, one on the façade and two on each side of the house. The ceilings are 4.2 meters high. The x-shaped timber ornamentation between the windows of the facade distinguishes it from other mansions. The projecting terrace, referred to as cihannüma in Ottoman residences, is in a balcony form. The street-side entrance opens into a large anteroom with parquet floors and two wooden staircases on either side lead to the upper floors.

The interior is decorated in an imperial style, reflecting central European architecture with various hand-carved features, imitation marbleized interior plastering and stucco ceilings. The ceiling of the now unused main entrance is decorated with carton-pierre coffers in a style evocative of Ancient Rome.

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.