A luxury city resort located on the European shore of the Bosphorus, iconic Bebek Hotel has been overlooking the stunning Bebek bay since 1950s. Served as a popular spot for multiple generations, it has inspired numerous people, housed many unforgettable memories and is captured as background for countless photographs in the history of Istanbul’s culture scene.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Construction Area: 1860 sqm
Project Year: 2019
Year of Completion: 2019
Client: Depot Konaklama
Design team information
Design: GEO_ID + Mahmut Anlar
Collaborators: Lighting Design- Ali Berkman, Furniture & Lighting- Gervasoni, Kettal, Kartell, Design by Us
Photo Credits: Emre Dörter
Fitted amongst the most popular cafes, eateries and clubs of Bosphorus, the hotel was eventually well-worn and needed a complete interior renovation to keep up with modern expectations of quintessential living. Given the historic and socio-cultural importance of the building, entire renovation from ground floor up to the roof terrace is taken elaborately with respect to its original design, preserving strong traces of its roots while offering the comfort and warmth of today’s contemporary aesthetics.
Guestrooms are designed to evoke the history of the hotel by keeping original pieces such as the night stands, lamps, desks and wardrobes (with minor/necessary care and touches), yet, re-arranged in layout for better circulation, more space for the newly added furniture and for benefiting the view more efficiently. Every corner of the suits provide a unique view. Custom designed daybeds are placed against wide windows overlooking the sea, while large wardrobes have also been modified to serve partly as mini bar with custom designed cocktail menus offering a real Istanbulite experience. Taking inspiration from privileged locals and obviously from Bosphorus, guests reserving a room not only purchase a night stay but an identity, an experience as if they would inhabit in that location for real.
Lighting design in guestrooms echoes the charming atmosphere of Bebek’s night life, neon colors are softly introduced in concealed details. The carpet is introduced in a blue/turquiose color to let the blues of the sea inside and to create a refreshing ambiance from within.
Perceiving art as an essential part of everyday life, local artists are also involved in the efforts to revitalize the hotel also in cultural terms. Together with traditional motifs, a collection of artworks is curated by bringing together the masters and the young ingenious artists of Turkey.
Due to time/budget constraints and fragility of the fact that the building originally is a combination of two separate buildings with different structural systems, very small intervention was possible in plans. Still, the reception area is re-arranged ensuring a wider entrance and introducing digital art pieces into welcoming lounge.
The restaurant is fitted with customized seating and tables with a palette of materials and colors that would resemble what the hotel’s society have as an image in their minds. Design of the bar is also kept the same except for a better circulation, it has been extended towards the left side of the restaurant, considering the flow of service, guests, and food and beverages. Mirror panels are an important aspect of overall concept and have been repetitively used in modular form to add dynamism and energy to the low-ceiling volumes in the hotel, including the bar, bathrooms, and the backwall of the lobby. Lighting fixtures in nautical style have been re-used with an modern touch in glass accessories. Wall panels which constitute the overall character of the hotel are meticulously refurbished on site avoiding replacing originals with their imitations. On the other hand, everything that needed to be new are produced with current technology and materials.
Rooftop of the building is re-designed and opened to the guests for the first time too. Friendly neighborhood transforms itself into a vibrant magnet of night life during the weekends and a rooftop bar/lounge area is designed to provide the guests with an open space where they can relax towards the beautiful view ahead. During the day time the space offers tanning beds which turn into lounge seating when put together at night. Décor in bathrooms include neon LED signages and sound installations reading paragraphs from iconic French novels.
Combining classic and modern elements with existing items, Bebek Hotel is renewed in a modern yet respectful manner, keeping its charming ambiance. Glittering once again, Bebek hotel offers its guests a stylish yet comfortable stay right besides Bosphorus.
Founding partner, Mahmut Anlar on the project; “Incredibly distinct definitions as well as expectations of luxury and leisure are emerging through the rapidly changing dynamics of our time. When we apply this revelation to the hotel identity, we are faced with a familiar concept: the sense of “being at home”. Considering how suitable the hotel’s existing architectural setup is to the concept, we wanted to harness the energy forged by an ambiance that is not brand new yet fresh. Our biggest goals have been to update the hotel to current standards as well as reaching out to future mores without compromising from its soul and identity.”
Founding partner, Tuğçe Rizeli on the project; “Our biggest challenge was to manage and strike the perfect balance of old and new in luxurious living. In order to achieve this, midcentury pieces are matched with art-deco and contemporary accessories so that the space designed has a multilayered appeal which feels timeless, lived-in and curated.”
Founded in 2013 in partnership with renowned design firm GeoMIM, Geo_ID is an innovative multifaceted studio providing an all-encompassing approach to interior design.
With a team of young creatives from varying design fields, Geo_ID develops unique narratives focusing on revolutionizing all aspects of design, from the brand identity to visually and spatially harmonious interiors. Fitted accordingly to the specific needs and requests of their clients, Geo_ID covers all creative levels that are necessary to bring identity and soul to each design.
Starting off with a clear understanding of the context and determining the values that define the project, Geo_ID devices space settings by putting human experience in the center of design. Always in search for the new, and well-connected to the current changes in everyday lifestyles, the studio offers sophisticated space creations with young spirit and essence that is true to their culture and innovative–modern day design approach.
Based in Istanbul, young studio boasts a fresh luxury portfolio from Turkey and the Middle East. Ranging from high-end hotels to boutiques and restaurants, few examples are W Hotel Istanbul, Turkey’s first “Grand Boutique Resort” Maxx Royal Kemer, Bebek Hotel by The Stay, Petra Cafe, Paragastroteka, Huqqa and The Market Dubai.