Kayseri Han

Wandering through Eminönü I discovered another interesting han. The light spilling through the atrium was magnificent. It’s too bad such buildings aren’t put to better use, seeing as no one seems to build them anymore. I’m sure the quick answer why no one builds structures like this is economics — but still … couldn’t we make more inspiring architecture for people to work in like this?

Such spaces never fail to spark my sense of wonder — it’s interesting to think of all the different tenants in times past, who climbed the stairs, said good morning to one another, shared a conversation over a glass of tea, a cigarette. In my opinion these hans are every bit as interesting as the more famous monuments in Istanbul, mostly because they are mementos of everyday life that has changed so drastically over the years, the minor events, the details that history books overlook. There’s a feeling of community within these buildings, rather than a feeling of segregation like you get in today’s office buildings. That central stair, the common hall unites this han, and gives the space an energy I think. There’s a flow right from the street up through the center of the structure.

If you cleared the accumulating clutter from the halls, you could shoot a tightly contained drama historical feature in a building such as this, perhaps set an entire feature within its halls and chambers. Just give me a budget! Anyway, like I said these buildings invite dreams and imagination, something I can’t say for the latest office towers in Maslak. Have a wander sometime, explore. You won’t regret it.