AGBU Webtalks


The Balyans: Armenian Architects of the Ottoman Sultans

Buke Uras

Uras details the multi-generational architectural works of the Balyan family for the Sultans of the Ottoman empire .


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July 2023

The Balyans: Armenian Architects of the Ottoman Sultans

For three generations, the Balyan family of Armenian architects designed and constructed major buildings for the Ottoman sultans of 19thcentury Constantinople, including renown imperial palaces, mosques, and Armenian churches. In this AGBU WebTalk, Büke Uras explains how the recent access to the Balyan family archive, comprising numerous valuable architectural drawings, reveals the lasting imprint these prominent Armenian designer-architects have left on the physical character and cultural development of today’s city of Istanbul. 

Buke Uras studied architecture at La Sapienza University in Rome. He worked as an architect in New York and Istanbul and currently lives in Paris. For over ten years, Uras has been collecting architectural drawings and documents from the Ottoman era and the early Turkish Republican period while contributing to various magazines, newspapers, and exhibition catalogues on architecture. In 2021, he published his most comprehensive publication to date with The Balyans, Ottoman Architecture and Balyan Archive. 

Topics: Architecture Arts/Culture History