An english architect in the 19th century Istanbul: William James Smith and taşkışla1

Aygül Ağir, Afife Batur, V. Gül Cephanecigil, Seda Kula Say, Mine Topçubaşi Çilingiroğlu, A. Hilal Uğurlu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


An English architect William James Smith had worked in Istanbul from 1842 to 1856, a most politically influential period for the British Empire. Smith, after his appointment to the prestigious project for the new Istanbul Embassy Building of United Kingdom, whose conceptual design was probably by renowned architect Sir Charles Barry, had attained the interest and trust of Ottoman statesmen. Consequently he was assigned to realise a number of important architectural projects contributing to the modernization of Ottoman Architecture. Some of the Smith’s important works for the Ottoman Porte are: A military hospital [Gümüşsuyu Askeri Hastanesi], a naval hospital, a school of medicine later known as Mecidiye Kışlası then Taşkışla, a part of the Selimiye Barracks, a Glass Pavilion in Dolmabahçe Palace and Tophane Imperial Kiosk [Tophane Kasrı] for Sultan Abdülmecid; a building for the Board of Trade, renovation of the Naum Theatre. His commissions for so many important buildings, in spite of the presence of the notable architects, namely Balyan and Fossati, is a proof of Sultan’s appreciation of Smith’s works. Smith worked for both the British Empire and the Ottoman Sultan for a considerable number of grand scale projects. Being Smith’s first work of grand scale, Taşkışla has had a major role in the history of the Ottoman Empire and Istanbul in addition to its own interesting construction history.

Translated title of the contribution19. Yüzyıl istanbul’unda bir ingiliz mimar: William James Smith ve taşkışla
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalA|Z ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.


  • 19 century
  • English architect
  • Istanbul
  • Taşkışla
  • William James Smith


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