Sinan: The First Starchitect

Sinan: The First Starchitect is an exhibition exploring the life and work of Mimar Sinan, architect to the sultans of the Ottoman Empire and the maestro behind the skyline of historic Istanbul.

Sinan, a contemporary of Palladio and Michelangelo, defined the look and feel of historic Istanbul, with its unforgettable skyline of domes and minarets, but he is also renowned for his engineering skills, and the bridges and aqueducts he designed. Unlike so many of his contemporaries however, many of his buildings are still in everyday use, serving both new and old communities in the ancient imperial city. Yet despite his increasing relevance today – the longevity and adaptability of his buildings are the essence of sustainable urban design – Sinan remains undermentioned.

In November 2015, Turkishceramics and the Architects' Journal took a group of British architects to Istanbul and Edirne on a research trip to study the work of Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.

The trip has resulted in a book and exhibition featuring research projects conducted by the participating architecture practices; Ian Ritchie Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, DSDHA, Reiach and Hall Architects, Sam Jacob Studio and Bureau de Change.

This fascinating exhibition focuses on Sinan’s mastery of the art of building, from his use of ceramics to his designs of mosque complexes and urban infrastructure.