British Naval Hospital
The British Naval Hospital is a building which can be placed maybe on the most non-conformant end of the highly different types of conduct displayed by Western architects in buildings they designed for oriental cities. The British Marine Hospital has pleasing large and small towers although one might think it to be somewhat out of place beside the dominant monumental look of the Galata Tower.
As a similar one to the capitulations granted to the other European nations was also granted to the British in 1580, British ships and sailors started to appear frequently in the Port of Istanbul. At the stages of establishing a marine based intercontinental colonial empire, Britain continues to be friends with the Ottomans.
As a result of the British’s efforts for taking over the management of the Port of Istanbul with sailors of British citizenship during the Crymian War, the activities taking place around the port increased. It was deemed necessary to set up a hospital to serve both these sailors and also those to be injured in the war. The British Consulate, which was opened on Voyvoda Street in Galata would supervise the management of the hospital.
The hospital built on a rather large lot near the tower has three storeys and fifty beds. Operating expenses were covered by a fee collected from the ships of British flag which travel to and from the port via the Consulate.
The structure on the “L” shaped design of which there is a little higher tower in the midst of multi-sided small towers at the corner where two wings intersect is reminiscent of the medical institutions in any culture center of a Central European country rather than a hospital with its little balconies on each floor.
The hexagonal towerettes on either side of the main entrance recur with domes at the end of either wing and the chimneys rising as high as possible on the roof joining this crowd of vertical elements, give the building the look of a different type of hospital which couldn't be found even in the England of the period.
The British Naval Hospital which functions as a medical institution affiliated with Ministry of Health today has long taken its historical place in the built up environment of Istanbul as one of the interesting buildings of the Galata of early 20th century.