Istanbul’s Atatürk Cultural Center reopened its doors to art lovers on October 29, 2021, the 98th anniversary of Turkish Republic Day. Known as Atatürk Kültür Merkezi (or AKM in short) by the locals, the newly-built contemporary structure references its former, iconic design.
The AKM is one of the most important investments of the Beyoğlu Culture Route, established by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as Türkiye’s one of the largest arts and culture project to date. The Centre marks the start of the culture avenue, and its reopening launches the International Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival, also developed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, inaugurated the Istanbul Atatürk Cultural Center in an opening ceremony attended by prominent figures from the business, arts and academic spheres, as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations, and local and foreign media outlets.
Completely reconstructed in 2.5 years by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism at a cost of TL 2 billion, the AKM welcomes visitors throughout the year to a 49,000-square-metre, 2040-seat Opera House equipped with the state-of-art technology. The Centre also features a 16,300-square metre, 802-seat Theatre Hall, the 410-square-metre AKM Gallery and the AKM Multipurpose Hall.
In addition to the aforementioned halls, the AKM offers an indoor area of approximately 100,000 square metres, consisting of a Gallery, a Multipurpose Hall, a Children’s Art Centre, a music platform, a music recording studio, and a library designed as an information centre for specialized topics such as music, art, architecture and design. The renewed complex also includes the AKM Yeşilçam Cinema and spaces such as the Design Shop, along with rehearsal areas, soloist and orchestra study rooms, restaurants, a cafeteria, book cafés, workshops, and administrative and technical units.
The Wait is Over: The Iconic Istanbul Atatürk Cultural Center Reopens
Anticipated to be a major attraction for the city’s residents and thousands of tourists visiting from around the world, the Istanbul Atatürk Cultural Center reopened its doors on October 29, Republic Day in a resplendent ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The New AKM will be Istanbul’s Cultural Heartbeat
The AKM, which plays a vital role in Istanbul’s goal of becoming a globally leading arts centre, will continue its mission of cultivating, supporting and presenting art, drawing visitors from all walks of life to experience rich content. The new AKM will serve as an example for similar structures in Türkiye.
The operating model of the building, which was conceived with the latest and most advanced technology, is a key element in differentiating the structure. Prior to its construction, a team of experienced professionals evaluated numerous structures with similar functions throughout the world, and also consulted with leading figures in Türkiye’s cultural spheres.
Resident institutions in the new Atatürk Cultural Center include the Presidential Classical Turkish Music Choir, the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, the Istanbul State Theatre, the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra and the Istanbul State Turkish Music Ensemble affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The AKM campus includes an opera house with a capacity of 2,040 seats and an 802-seat theatre, as well as units with different functions set along a pathway called “Culture Street.” In addition, the campus features a multipurpose hall that can accommodate exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances, conferences and meetings.
The AKM Gallery is on the facade facing Taksim Square, next to the main building housing the iconic sphere. Featuring a soaring, prismatic design at the entrance to the Culture Street, The Gallery also fulfills the need for an exemplary exhibition hall in Istanbul. The space will host exhibits by selected contemporary artists.