Ayazaga, a recently developed business district of Istanbul, was also famous with its vast green areas, forests and hunting mansions dating back to late Ottoman periods. One of the large sites in this area owned by the Ministry of Culture and it had been on the project table since 1995. After a first attempt to build a large cultural center had been halted for more than 10 years, the site was left with a huge unfinished building until 2010. ERA was given the responsibility by the new leaseholder of the site to develop a new project to host multiple cultural events.
The project is situated on large a sloped site with three historical mansions inside. ERA’s first intention was to rehabilitate the existing construction but when it was understood that that would be impossible with the new regulations, the program requirement and site was handled with a fresh start.
150.000sqm project is a mixed use complex including a 6.000 person multi-purpose concert hall, a 1.000 person symphony hall, a museum, meeting rooms, art galleries, offices, restaurants, cafes, shopping units, a dance studio, a gym and underground parking for 1.250 cars. The major problem was to place such a dense program into a delicate site with three historical mansions inside and a steep topography. Thus a rational grid was laid over the site allowing free space around the existing mansions and free circulation areas around the large blocks hosting concert halls, office spaces and the shopping area. Topography was used as a benefit for secluding big masses or scaling down the buildings height for the sake of pedestrian perception.
In the ground floor, halls are connected with cafes and restaurants and they jointly shelter functions for visitors willing to spend their time with, by generating a pedestrian axis. Offices are located over the ground in order to allow the users experience a unique landscape, and capturing the special daylight into the office spaces reflected from the forest. A lively building complex, which interconnects offices and halls with spaces for culture and art such as a gallery and a museum, is proposed. Istanbul local plants for the green areas were chosen to reduce the maintenance costs by using the rainwater harvesting system for these plants.
since it was established in 1972 in Istanbul, Turkey. ERA’s interdisciplinary method is based on engaging professionals from different areas of expertise in a collaborative teamwork and coordinating the business meticulously. The faith in both global design language and local values enables ERA to find sustainable solutions with international collaborations. ERA Architects has been practicing architecture in the light of these values in Paris since 2000 and in Beijing since 2011, alongside with the head office in Istanbul. ERA aims to provide the highest quality of architecture for every single project with an innovative design-oriented approach responding the environment in terms of function, aesthetics and social values.