Historic Galatasaray University building’s restoration completed

Historic Galatasaray University building’s restoration completed

Ömer Erbil–ISTANBUL
Historic Galatasaray University building’s restoration completed

The restoration of the 149-year-old Galatasaray University building has been completed after a fire burned down the historic establishment in 2013.

The restoration’s architect, Sinan Genim, has told daily Hürriyet that bureaucratic procedures regarding the restoration had lasted three-and-a-half years, whereas the construction itself had lasted one-and-a-half years.

The historic building located along the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul was left in ruins after a fire on Jan. 22, 2013 raged through it. Its roof was completely destroyed. The fire is believed to have started from an electrical fault.

The university’s building is registered as a first-degree protection site, which is why the restoration process lasted longer than usual.

“We have dealt with bureaucracy from January 2014 to August 2017. The project has come back from the [cultural and natural heritage] preservation board several times. The bureaucracy lasted three-and-a-half years but we have finished the construction in one-and-a-half years,” said Genim.

“We have maintained the [original] exterior and interior walls. But it is not possible to see or understand the interior walls; it is only if you drill them that you can see they are brick walls. So, this [the preservation of the original interior walls] was not necessary. Preservation of the [original] exterior walls was enough; this is why a space of a total of 500 square meters have been lost in three floors and that much spending has been made. If they [the authorities] had not objected to my restoration project, the restoration cost would have been third less,” said Genim.

The restoration of the historical building cost 60 million Turkish Liras, which corresponds to about 9.8 million dollars.

Galatasaray Education Foundation and the foundation’s founder businessman, İnan Kıraç, have contributed greatly financially to the restoration, said Genim, adding that the university rector, Prof. Dr. Ertuğrul Karsak, had made a great effort for the project to be realized.

Genim also said that the building was designed to offer fire safety on several levels. “We have undertaken the electrical system with non-combustible and durable cables. We have placed smoke-detector sensors and a fire extinguishing system. We have placed eight fire extinguisher cabinets and whirlwinds that can stretch up to 25 meters in every floor,” he said.

“There will be no more heaters, electric stoves in academic’s rooms. The electrical wiring, fire alarm system and building will be observed via cameras from the control room,” Gömen said, adding that steel frame was used for the construction of the roof.

Turkey, Galatasaray University, restoration