Istanbul-based architecture practice Tabanlıoğlu Architects will bring Sabahattin Ali’s classic 1943 novel Madonna in a Fur Coat to life through ‘Beloved’, an evocative installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The work will be set on a bridge over the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, and is conceived as part of the London Design Festival, 17 – 25th September 2016.

Beloved takes the form of a 13-metre-long mirrored black box where visitors will be able to peer inside, through cracks in the surface of the enclosure, to witness the inner life of the main character using text, light, and sound. The story addresses the relationship between a young Turkish man and an enigmatic German woman and is set in the interwar period in two cities, Berlin and Ankara. Tabanlıoğlu Architects were actively involved in choosing to site this installation on the bridge at Gallery 112, as it helps provide a physical metaphor to describe the themes of the novel.

Murat Tabanlıoğlu says: “Madonna in a Fur Coat is one of the greatest novels in Turkish literature. We wanted to reinterpret the story in London through Beloved. The installation is a physical realization of the way the human mind imagines scenes from a book as they read. It’s a very intimate experience that celebrates literature, passion and the human condition using the power of design.”