Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
Svenska Forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul.
Istanbul, Turkey, Swedish Research Institute
For many years, the Dragoman House was used as the residence of the Swedish Consul General, but since 1969 the chancery and residence of the Consulate General have been housed in the main building on the same plot. The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII) has occupied the Dragoman House since 1974.
Swedish plot for 250 years
Sweden's diplomatic ties with Turkey stretch back to the 17th century. Sweden has had a permanent mission in Turkey since 1735. The plot where the Dragoman House would later be built was purchased in 1787. The first building constructed here contained a large kitchen on the ground floor and rooms for servants on the upper floor. The wooden upper floor was destroyed by fire in 1829, and then rebuilt by an Italian architect named Peverata.
Space for research
In 1885, architect Bernardo Bottarlini set about making extensive repairs to the Dragoman House. In order to provide on-site accommodation for Embassy staff, an extra floor was added to the building, which kept this layout until the redevelopment work conducted in the 1990s. The top floor is now where the director of the Swedish Research Institute lives and works. The first floor provides guest rooms for researchers and an assembly room. The library, research area and shared kitchen are located on the ground floor. The basement houses the Andrén auditorium with seating for 60 people, designed by architect Chet Kanra in the 1990s.
September 2010 saw the opening of the new annex just behind the Dragoman House. At first glance, it looks like a low yellow rendered villa, but go down the alley behind the building and what appears is a six-storey timber building with a historically accurate local wooden façade. The new building provides space for more research at the SRII. Eleven new guest rooms – one adapted for disabled visitors – two new meeting rooms, a kitchen and a popular outdoor area bring new opportunities for the facility.
The National Property Board Sweden (SFV) conducted a thorough renovation of the Dragoman House in 2011 to reinforce the whole building against earthquakes.
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