Photos display French influence in Türkiye’s architecture
The works of French-origin Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury, such as the Ottoman Bank building built in the 1800s, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the Greek Orphanage and the Pera Palas Hotel, are being exhibited at Institut français Istanbul.
The exhibition, titled “Istanbul heritage of Alexandre Vallaury,” will continue through Oct. 23 at the Institut français, located in Taksim.
In the exhibition, visitors can see the architectural heritage left by Vallaury in Istanbul through the lens of photographer Bilal İmre.
Architect Vallaury, who studied at the National College of Fine Arts in Paris, was one of the creators and pioneers of the neo-Ottoman style that defined the buildings built on the Bosphorus shore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the buildings created by Vallaury are the Ottoman Bank building in neo-renaissance style, the Istanbul Archeology Museum and the Greek Orphanage and Pera Palas Hotel.
Organized on the occasion of the 39th European Heritage Days, which has become a French and European cultural tradition, the exhibition invites to an artistic journey in the city and shows the solid cultural relationship between France and Türkiye.
Speaking about the exhibition, İmren said, “Vallaury is a very important architect. He is known as the first architect of the Ottoman Empire; the city’s architect. He made very important firsts in the field of architecture for Türkiye. He accomplished countless works, such as the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Pera Palas Hotel and Archaeology Museum. We organized the exhibition as a joint project with the French Cultural Center to improve Türkiye-France relations. We worked hard for four to five months for the exhibition. It was a very enjoyable job for me. There are photos of seven-eight places in the exhibition. Our main starting point in the exhibition is to show the effects of a French architect on Türkiye. These works are great structures that have been in front of our eyes for many years.”
Selin Şaşmaz Kalaycıoğlu, communications officer of Institut français Istanbul, said, “The European Cultural Heritage Days is held in September every year. It started in France and spread to nearly 50 countries. These days, mostly closed sections of museums, public buildings and parliaments are opened to visitors. In this exhibition, we photographed the main works of architect Vallaury in Istanbul with our photographer İmren. We have made a special selection.”
The exhibition can be visited from Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Born in 1994 in Ağrı, İmren studied photography in the Faculty of Fine Arts. He participated in various exhibitions in the field of architecture and documentary photography. He continues to produce in the field of visual art, which he thinks has an important power in the formation of social consciousness and memory.
As a professional documentary photographer, he aims to reveal the architect behind every stylized corner and curve, line of detail and perspective, shadow or a directed light trail. The academic dimension of his photographs reveals these massive immovable subjects.