The Botter Building
Art Nouveau movement of 1890s has spread in Istanbul, too, in every aspect quite rapidly through Laventines and the foreigners. The building, which was commissioned by a fashion designer (Jean Botter) to a popular architect of the day (Raimondo D'Aronco) on the most famous street of Pera, indeed, is the most distinguished specimen of this movement: Casa Botter.
Although known as an apartment building, this structure is a multi-storey residence-workplace combination in which a single family spent all its private and professional life. J.Botter is a Dutch tailor who had migrated to Istanbul in late 19th century. He had become very popular by the upper echelons of the Ottomans, has gained great fame and become wealthy. According to rumors, he was the private tailor of Sultan Abdülhamit.
In early 1900s, Botter has decided to pursue his professional activities from a fashion house in an institutionalized form like its specimens in the west and finding an appropriate lot, has chosen an experienced and talented architect.
The chosen lot is a rather long one just beside the Swedish Embassy in Tünel, directed from the street towards the back at a certain angle. The building was constructed in attached form. It has seven storeys; on the façade in vertical segments, scenes from the daily lives of the Botter family members have been depicted successfully.
The large store with a mezzanine floor with high ceiling formed by moving the entrance on the ground floor to the right is the “prestige” location of the Botter Fashion House with its eye smashing decoration not inferior to its comparables in Paris. On the first floor, in the large hall in the front, the master tailor received his guests. The back rooms were allocated to his assistants. In the upper floors, the six-member Botter Family spent their private lives and attended to their socio-cultural activities.
In the entire façade design, architect D'Aronco has proven how closely he monitored the “Viennan Seccession”. The curved small balcony on the first floor, the other small balconies in the upper floors, all iron barriers of the roof terrace and the intense floral decorations filling the surface may easily qualify as the most mature specimens of secession outside Vienna easily. The fact that experienced builders, blacksmiths and masons and carpenters who can produce such diligent and high quality work in the Istanbul of the day (although some may have come from