Creating the unimagined
Istanbul, TR; Berlin, DE

Salon, founded by Alper Derinbogaz, is an architecture practice focusing on tactical and experimental innovation in cities. From their offices in Istanbul and Berlin, by focusing on research processes as the catalyst for an evolving engagement with the constructed world, they speculate on critical solutions for architecture in contemporary landscapes.

A space for exchange

Salon emerged around when I finished school after my masters at UCLA and returned to Istanbul. At the time, although there was a worldwide financial crisis, Turkey was booming. It felt curious and open to new things and I was invited to do some exciting projects. I started teaching a university class in Istanbul, and was supposed to have an office, but instead we were in a temporary room called ‘Salon’. At the same time, I started the practice, out of my living room. The name Salon felt appropriate, coming from the French word, a gathering place where people come together and exchange new ideas.


A successful misunderstanding

Once there was an incident with one of our clients. We thought they had invited us to design a building, but it turned out they had expected an interior design / exhibition project. We came up with a building and somehow it ended up happening! When we presented it to them they were a bit shocked but they tried to keep it cool, so they didn’t say anything. And then they decided to build it.


Reverse psychology

We started with an art project - Augmented Structures, a collaboration with Refik Anadol combining media art, sound, and architecture. At that time we were having many discussions about the relationship between art and architecture, whether architecture is art and so on. The funny thing we found over the years is that when we are interested in doing art, we get more architecture projects. When we feel like doing architecture, we are invited for exhibitions... This has become part of our ecology, sometimes the art projects lead to architecture and vice versa. So Salon is like a platform where different ideas grow.


Discovering a new space

We don't know if we want to be a larger firm and construct big masterplans. What we are aiming towards is to reach somewhere that we can’t imagine yet, that is only discoverable through design. We would like to create an architectural space or world that is not yet imagined. Realistically speaking, architecture as a business is extremely hard. It is not working well, as a whole. We try to ensure we have enough projects to give the best possible conditions for our team and to be creative while being professionals. Learning is part of our process, we are almost like an educational institution, in each project we search for and discover new ideas.

Salon Alper Derinboaz photo Marc Goodwin 2 Emmy BacharachPhotography by Marc Goodwin

Salon Alper Derinboaz photo Marc Goodwin 1 Emmy BacharachPhotography by Marc Goodwin

Stoa House Salon Alper Derinboaz photo Orhan Koluksa Emmy BacharachPhotography by Orhan Kolukısa

Istanbul Museum Construction Site Salon Alper Derinboaz photo Orhan Koluksa Emmy BacharachPhotography by Orhan Kolukısa

Fita Passage Salon Alper Derinboaz photo Orhan Koluksa 1 Emmy BacharachPhotography by Orhan Kolukısa

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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