Burj Al Babas

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Burj Al Babas is a residential development located near the Turkish town of Mudurnu[1] whose buildings are designed to resemble miniature chateaux.[2] The site initiated by the Sarot Group has been abandoned since 2019 after the developers filed for bankruptcy with a debt of $27 million.[1]

Original concept[edit]

The Burj Al Babas project involved the construction of 732 three-story luxury villas, all very similar to each other and characterised by elements of Gothic, English and American architecture. Meanwhile, the cylindrical towers with dormer windows and the square towers with balustrades were inspired in particular by the Galata Tower in Istanbul, built in the late Middle Ages by the Genoese, and by the so-called Maiden's Tower, located on an island in the Bosphorus Strait, a few hundred metres from the city.[3]

According to the original brochure, the centre of the complex was to include a domed structure containing a shopping centre, health and beauty facilities such as Turkish baths, a mosque, a movie theatre, and other facilities open to residents.[1]

The houses were on sale for between $370,000 and $530,000.[1]

Aiming for the Arab market, the partners named the development the Burj Al Babas Thermal Tourism Company and began marketing the houses through their real estate agency in Kuwait.[2]

The site in the Black Sea region of Turkey was situated near the region's hot springs. Excavations on the site revealed that 200 meters underground, the water temperature reached 68 degrees Celsius or 154 degrees Fahrenheit.[2]

Complications[edit]

Construction began on the complex in 2014.[4] Using 2,500 workers, the developers aimed to finish the project in four years.[2] The development was originally successful with approximately half of the castles selling in advance.

In 2018 sales eventually stalled, causing the developer to enter bankruptcy.[1] Falling oil prices and instability in Turkey were cited as reasons for the slump in sales. The mayor of the town of Mudurnu Mehmet Inegol remained confident that the project would begin again.[2]

As of 2021, however, 587 of the planned 732 homes were started, including a few gardens, but none were finished.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

Burj Al Babas is the setting for the music video of "Lose Control", a 2019 song by Meduza, Becky Hill and Goodboys.[5][6][7]

The music video for "Sober" by French electronic musician SebastiAn was partially shot in Burj Al Babas.

Gaspard Augé, also a French electronic musician, shot two music videos for "Belladone" and the title track from his 2021 album Escapades in Burj Al Babas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Koc, Cagan (26 November 2018). "Builder of $200 Million Turkish Chateaux Project Goes Bankrupt". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gall, Carlotta (3 March 2019). "Want a Castle in Turkey? You May Find a Bargain". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  3. ^ "La città dei castelli fantasma in Turchia". Il Post (in Italian). 2021-07-01. Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  4. ^ Ravenscroft, Tom (18 January 2019). "Drone footage reveals hundreds of abandoned Turkish chateaux". Dezeen. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  5. ^ Totaro, Romina (February 28, 2020). "The new life of Burj al Babas". Domus. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  6. ^ KRONOS (October 29, 2019). "Mudurnu'nun şatoları klip seti oldu". Kronos News. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Smoak, Audrey (December 21, 2019). "Lose Control". The Era Of EDM. Retrieved December 25, 2020.

Coordinates: 40°26′40″N 31°12′08″E / 40.44451°N 31.20215°E / 40.44451; 31.20215