Categories DesignPosted on

The Best of LDF: ‘BELOVED’ at the V&A Museum

You may remember that SEEN very much admired ‘Beloved’, the evocative installation by Istanbul-based architecture practice Tabanlıoğlu Architects, set on a bridge over the beautiful V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, conceived as part of the London Design Festival, London. It was indeed one of the most interesting design proposals seen by SEEN during the week.

You may remember that SEEN very much admired ‘Beloved’, the evocative installation by Istanbul-based architecture practice Tabanlıoğlu Architects, set on a bridge over the beautiful V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, conceived as part of the London Design Festival, London. It was indeed one of the most interesting design proposals seen by SEEN during the week.

‘Beloved’, designed by Tabanlıoğlu Architects (headed by Murat Tabanlioğlu and Melkan Gürsel), was inspired by ‘Madonna in a Fur Coat’, one of the greatest novels in Turkish literature. The installation is a sculptural and multi-sensory work that reinterprets the story of Sabahattin Ali’s novel in London. The story addresses the relationship between a young Turkish man and an enigmatic German woman and is set in the interwar period in two cities, Berlin and Ankara. The 13-metre-long mirrored black box was intentionally placed on the bridge at Gallery 112 to help provide a physical metaphor to describe the themes of the novel: old and young, East and West, WW1 and WW2.

“The installation was built to be a physical realisation of the way the human mind imagines scenes from a book as they read. It’s aimed to be a very intimate experience that celebrates literature, passion and the human condition using the power of design” explained Murat Tabanlıoğlu.

“The first sentence of the novel ‘Of all the people I have chanced upon in life, there is no one who has left a greater impression’ describes the importance of the main character, Raif, yet he is humiliated the first time we meet him. The questions of ‘how something looks’ and ‘how it is’ were the starting points of our design. For the shell of ‘Beloved’, we referred to Raif’s black notebook; the inner world of this man, portrayed in the interior of the installation. Raif can be discovered only when you get close.

Intrigued by glimpses of light, the audience peer through the ‘cover’ into the fascinating story that tells of a profound love of this anti-hero” said Melkan Gürsel.

It’s an installation that begs for the viewer’s prolonged examination and appreciation and you can still visit it here: