Turkish design firm Autoban has an awe-inspiring success story. Established by architects Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer ÇaÄŸlar, Autoban first took up residence in Galata in 2003. Since their first projects were redesigns of cafes and restaurants, it was a natural progression for the team to move into furniture design. By 2006, the duo opened their first gallery in the city to showcase their furniture designs.
A year later, designer Efe Aydar became the third partner of the firm, which continued its steady growth. Since 2009, Autoban has been operating from its Tünel office. Today, it has a team of 35 employees, most of whom are architects and interior designers. In May 2011, Autoban opened a 350-square-metre gallery in the swanky Akaretler neighbourhood. The gallery sells its entire furniture, lighting and accessories collections, solidifying its commercial presence on the Turkish design scene.
Autoban’s portfolio recounts a tale of impressive achievements: literally hundreds of national and international projects, ranging from furniture design and residences to hotels, shops, offices and even university dorms. Autoban’s first architectural endeavour, the innovative Nef Flats 163, was a finalist in the 2010 World Architecture Festival (WAF) and construction is expected to finish this year. Another recent Autoban project was redesigning Turkish Airlines’ 3,000 square-metre CIP Lounge, located in the International Departures section of Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. Autoban’s emphasis on juxtaposing natural materials with an industrial look truly shines through in the design of this lounge. The ultra-conceptual gourmet supermarket Macrocenter Krucesme – located 20 minutes from Istanbul’s city centre – is a new genre for the design firm. The store façade was constructed using iroko wood, while the interior is styled as a large, open space, with fine natural lighting and custom-designed minimalistic food cabinets.
As of early 2012, the design brand management firm De La Espada has been selling Autoban’s innovative designs in markets worldwide: Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia. Autoban recently received another accolade, this time for a relatively small-scale project. Originally designed in 2008, the Suite Bed was launched during the 2011 London Design Week. Crafted out of oak and walnut and covered in leather and cloth, the bed was such a success that it received Wallpaper* magazine’s ‘Best Bed’ award for their 2012 Design Awards. The bed, amongst other original designs, is currently on sale at Autoban’s Akaretler gallery and in over 60 locations around the world.