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Istanbul Cultural Center
Istanbul, Turkey | 2015
Architects: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Client: Rixos Hotels
The design for Istanbul Cultural Center is an integrated group of cultural buildings that includes an opera house, a concert hall, a theatre, and a cinema, all designed as state-of-the-art venues that will share back of house and public spaces with each other. The primary goal of the center was to allow residents and visitors of Istanbul maximum accessibility to world-class cultural venues and an extensive array of open and enclosed public spaces.
Visitors will walk toward an iconic open observation platform with unmatched views of the sea, the square, and the park. The new area restores the public park, or “the walk,” that historically occupied the site by placing its public cultural buildings under a fully accessible landscaped walkway, which links the public square and park to a new elevated observation platform. The cultural center’s main entrance is also accessed directly from Taksim Square through a slightly sloped walkway. This ascending walkway provides new focused elevated views of the park and the square.
The opera entry and the views to the Takism plaza continue its original axial relationship with the square, while a wide stairway offers elevated views of the plaza at the opera entrance. An exhibition space is visible and accessible from the entrance of the cultural center and is centrally located between the concert and opera hall. It is designed to be used as a public platform for Istanbul, Turkish, or international artists.
The cultural center also invites residents and visitors to access its courtyard directly from the existing street. This is an important open connection at ground level that links the street with the now accessible pedestrian walkway on the east side of the cultural center.
Additionally, a sloping landscaped platform provides public access to outdoor performances. The amphitheater will host all day public events and will act as an invitation to new artists and Istanbul residents to enjoy an unparalleled experience with dramatic views of Takism Square.