Alexandre Vallaury’s legacy

Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury has made a place in Istanbul’s architectural memory with a series of monumental buildings he created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A special exhibition dedicated to the architect will be taking place at the Institut Français as part of the ‘European Heritage Days’.

Alexandre Vallaury is the name behind some of the most architecturally celebrated landmarks in Istanbul including the Pera Palace Hotel, the Tokatlıyan Hotel, Union Française Building, and the Greek Orphanage in Büyükada. The ‘Alexandre Vallaury’s Istanbul Heritage’ exhibition to be held at Institut Française Istanbul will cover the career of the talented architect. Photographed by Bilal İmren, the exhibition is like a retrospective of Vallury’s work which has a special place in the city’s memory. İmren’s images are meticulous visual recordings of the buildings, bringing the viewer architectural details which are often overlooked. Open until 23 October, the exhibition promises the viewer an architectural journey to 19th-century Istanbul and better knowledge of Vallaury’s buildings.

About Alexandre Vallaury:
Vallaury got his degree in architecture from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is arguably one of the most famous 19th-century neo-classical architects who worked in Istanbul. Born in Istanbul in 1850 as the son of a Levantine family of French origin, Vallaury returned to Istanbul in 1880 after completing his education in Paris. Before long, he started working on the newly established Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (School of Fine Arts). He later became one of the founding figures of the institution and a lecturer of architecture. Vallaury gained a reputation during this period which caught the attention of senior Ottoman administrators and the French business community in Turkey. During his career, he designed numerous residences, commercial buildings and mansions, which have become trademarks of Istanbul’s architecture.