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The Carpet that Couldn't Fit

The story of this carpet began somewhere in the eighteenth century, in Hereke - Turkey's famous weaving center.

Its dimensions are impressive - 9m x 14m, weighing 490. It is believed that it took around 20 years to craft it. The last sultan of the Ottoman Empire offered this carpet as a gift to the people of Ada Kaleh. For 200 years, it sat in the old mosque of Ada Kaleh, filling its entire floor surface. Today, the mosque is gone, together with the island. In 1965, before the demolitions and the displacement, the people of Ada Kaleh sent the carpet to the Great Mosque in Constanta, as the first act of preservation. Unfortunately, the four-column spatial scheme of the mosque cannot provide the necessary space for the carpet to be unrolled, therefore it has been sitting there half-rolled since 1965.

This story brings us to the second act of preservation - the drawing. Through a banal tracing and compositing technique, based on a collection of images taken from different angles, the act of drawing captures the patterns - that is the limits between colors. The reasoning is as simple as the technique. According to the people who care for it now, the colors have started to fade, so the pattern will be the first attribute to disappear. Consequently, it is the first element to be recorded.

Fragment of the Diploma Project - "The Enchanted Gardens of Ada Kaleh",

Oslo School of Architecture, 2019

Advisors - Luis Callejas, Janike Kampevold Larsen, Tuva Maire Øvsthus

The completion of this work could not have been possible without the help and support of Engur & Mioara Ahmet, Mahinur Hairi Apostol, (Ada Kaleh - A Spot of Paradise), INP Bucuresti, State Archives Turnu Severin, who provided me not only with an incredible amount of photographs but also with other valuable information and inspiring dialogues.

I am sincerely grateful for all of that.

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