Founded by architect Seyhan Özdemir and interior designer Sefer Cağlar in 2003, Autoban is an Istanbul based design studio which specializes in architecture, interior design and product design. Today, after 10 years in practice, the renowned award winning firm now employs a team of 35. When asked about their firm and what they do, the founding duo emphasize the importance of story telling, Özdemir explains, “We try to create a unique feeling… experiences… maybe a new sensation.” You’ll have the opportunity to get to know Autoban and its founders in more depth in a video at the end of this post, but for now let’s take a tour of this, one of their many fabulous projects…
As Autoban’s first overseas project, 208 Duecento Otto has received numerous design accolades and awards. Set in the Hong Kong’s artsy Sheung Wan quarter, this Italian restaurant, with a New York-style menu, derived its design inspiration from a fusion of Eastern and Westestern aesthetics.
Formerly a meat storage facility, 208 Duecento Otto now exudes a cosmopolitan ambiance. Upon approach, visitors are met by a two story restaurant and bar, clad in a striking iron facade. The ground floor houses the bar and a warm private dinging room while the second – main level – is accessed via a dramatically lit iron staircase which leads to the main dining area.
The space boasts an unexpected mix of custom made blue and white chinoiserie embellished ceramic tiles, leather bar stools chosen to give off a rustic yet urban New York feel, white marble counters and a lavish use of warm walnut tables and paneling.
Photography by George Mitchell