Ciragan Palace in the last great Ottoman palace. Designed for Sultan Abdulaziz by the Armenian palace architect, Nicogayos Balyan, and built by Balyan’s sons in 1863 and 1867 on the European shore of the Bosphorus in the Besiktas and Ortakoy neighborhoods.
The palace was destroyed by fire in 1910 leaving the outer walls intact. In 1989, the ruined palace was bought by a Japanese corporation, which restored the palace and added a modern hotel complex next to it in its garden. Today, Ciragan Palace, owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), serves as luxury suites for the five-star Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul.
In 2009, ADIA created a design competition intended to reimagine Ciragan Palace as a destination resort that would take its place among the most important resorts in the world. ForrestPerkins and Alberto Pinto were chosen for the competition. Stephen Perkins was ForrestPerkins’ Principal in Charge for the project and his team was joined by Paker Architecture of Istanbul and Cracknell Planning and Landscape Architecture of Dubai.
The very successful approach resulted in exquisite interiors and a major reorganization of the movement in and around the site, novel separation of front and back of house for goods and services, and developing a unified landscape plan that allowed for the segregation of major outdoor activity areas and social spaces by means of changing grade and landscape.
Most importantly, the resort’s image of the Bosphorus and from the Bosphorus maximized the dramatic impression of the resort in all parts of the day and night.