This house on Istanbul’s Asian coast started out as a 1960s ruin. The owner wanted a more open plan, and sought to repurpose the basement from storage to a library, workspace, guest bathroom and kitchen. The ground-floor concrete slab was reinforced, and the surrounding foundations compressed with concrete walls to hold a new steel structure. The preserved entrance stairs define an axis that divides the house into two functional parts, in the manner of some traditional Turkish houses. The zinc titanium roof and aluminium window frames are low-maintenance, as are the aggregate brick gable walls, which recall the traditional stone houses of Mardin where the owner spent his childhood.