Erkan Aktuğ – ISTANBUL
A new culture and arts complex is set to be opened in Istanbul’s iconic İstiklal Avenue on Sept. 13 after its site has undergone restoration.
The new Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts Complex is expected to revive daily life in İstiklal Avenue, which fell victim to the city’s malaise amid its diminishing exuberance.
Two facades of the building have been covered with glass and an almost four-meter-long cantilever has been placed at the main entrance of the building.
The building, designed by Teğet Architecture, which was founded by Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu and Ertuğ Uçar, will have a library home to publications from Yapı Kredi Publications. A special section has been designated in the library to children books. There is a little cafe near the library and a reading area inside it.
Another entrance to the building is across from the historic Galatasaray
High School, from which visitors can reach the second and third floors through this entrance with stairs.
The second and third floors of the building will host an art gallery and Yapı Kredi’s world-renowned coin collection.
Artist İlhan Koman’s famous sculpture “Mediterranean,” previously located in Yapı Kredi’s head office in Istanbul’s Levent district, has been erected on the third floor of the restored building.
The fourth floor of the building will have a foyer area and a conference hall where plays and movie screenings will be held. The conference hall, overlooking the İstikal Avenue, is see-through, allowing passersby to watch the events being performed inside the conference hall.
There will be a library containing 80,000 books, 4,000 of them considered very rare, on the fifth floor of the building.
The new complex will open its doors with an exhibition named “Spiral” on Sept. 13. Necmi Sönmez is the curator and Yeşim Demir designer of the exhibition.
Tülay Gülgen, the general manager of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts Publishing, said the building engages with the avenue with its new design.
“Every function in the building can see each other, we can see the street, and the street can also see us. This building is a gift from our [Yapı Kredi] bank to Turkey, to Istanbul. Everyone who comes to Istanbul definitely takes a trip to İstiklal Avenue. I think that this building will play a leading role in bringing people back to Beyoğlu’s İstiklal. It is a very inviting, a very attractive building,” she said.