Snow; “it made the city look new, not only covering up the mud, the filth and the neglect, but by producing in every street and every view an element of surpriseā€¦”

Situated amongst the long-lost memories of the celebrated past of the city, the Picture House reflects how the novelist Orhan Pamuk remembers his black-and-white childhood just like the old Turkish films. The building draws the visitors into a place where it portrays both sides of Istanbul’s beauty; the side that merges into the depth of its darkness and the purified side that is masked by the whiteness of snow.

The Picture House will support the Turkish film industry which had been in decline since its peak in the 50s and 60s when film crews were seen in the city everywhere. The recent revival of the industry has provoked the Ministry of Culture to invest in it to celebrate and support the future works that could compete in the international scene. The Picture House also provides an opportunity to engage more people with films and other recorded media, and to inspire the younger generation to be involved with the production itself; encouraging new talents for the country. Like a film set, the visitors experience the play of light, materials and illusions, seeing the frontage and the “back stage” of all these. From the interactive projection zone to the media research+study room, the underground picture bar and the main screen room, the Picture House merges the play and the interest of films.

The site is found in a quiet residential area, tucked away from the bustling tourist favourites; the area has somehow been left behind the redevelopment. As part of the proposed Istanbulli Masterplan, the Picture House aims to engage with the local culture and to bring people back into the area; thus bringing film crews back into the black-and-white city of the new era.