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10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books

Truly wonderful books have a habit of growing and changing years after they’ve been written, worming themselves into places you might not expect — our decisions, our aesthetic and cultural sense, and even, with the right kind of care, our physical world. Case in point: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, which opened in Istanbul last weekend, is an extensive museum (reportedly, he spent almost all of his 1.5 million Nobel Prize dollars on it) devoted to expanding on and complementing his recent novel, The Museum of Innocence. Since we can’t make it to Turkey to experience the place for ourselves, we’ve collected a few other amazing buildings born from books — whether inspired by particular novels, stories, or a writer’s entire oeuvre — to tide us over. Click through to see our gallery of real-life architecture inspired by literature from all over the world, and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite literary tribute in the comments.

The Museum of Innocence, inspired by Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence

In Pamuk’s best-selling novel The Museum of Innocence, a man, Kemal, falls in love with a woman, Fusun. After a short affair and a long obsession, wherein he begins to collect things she has touched or that have some meaning to him, she leaves him forever. He buys her family’s house and begins to fill it with the things he has collected, turning into a museum to her and his passion. Pamuk has created a museum of the same kind in Istanbul’s Çukurcuma neighborhood, representing memories from the book entwined with his own. Our favorite exhibit has to be the collection of Fusun’s 4,213 cigarette butts, each dated and affixed to a canvas that covers an entire wall. “The Museum of Innocence is not an illustration of The Museum of Innocence the novel. Neither is the novel an explanation of the museum. They are deeply intertwined because they are both made by me, word by word and object by object,” Pamuk said at the museum’s opening. The book comes with a free ticket to the museum, although those who purchased it upon its release in Turkish in 2008 have been waiting a long time to use it. Find out more at the museum’s website.

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