Construction of new Atatürk Cultural Center in last phase
The construction of the new Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM), a prominent symbol of Istanbul, is in its last phase as the first acoustic testing of the center’s main stage has been successfully carried out, according to daily Hürriyet.
“The construction of the AKM is heading with full force,” wrote Suat Arıkan, the head of Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, on his Twitter account posting the first photographs of the construction.
According to the officials, the elevation works in the center are nearly done, the suspended ceiling has been put in place, glass windows have been successfully installed, as well as the iconic stairs of the old AKM buildings have been replicated.
Serkan Bali, an art critic, shared the photo of the stairs on Twitter, saying, “We will not feel estranged in the new AKM building.”
Recently, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said that 86 percent of the construction works have been completed.
While the first photos of the construction caused excitement among art enthusiasts, a world-renowned ballet dancer, Tan Sağtürk, visited the constructed site.
He stressed that AKM would hold a significant position for Turkish performing arts while praising the progress made so far in the construction works of the new center.
“AKM is extremely important to promote cultural activities in the country,” Sağtürk, who is also a State Opera and Ballet artist, told daily Milliyet on March 16.
The original AKM, a focal point of world-famous Taksim Square in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, was built in 1969. After it lay abandoned for 10 years, a new project was implemented to demolition the old building and construct a new one in its place. The demolition works of the center started on Feb. 13, 2018.
On Feb. 10, 2019, the construction of a new complex began with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
After visiting the site where the elevation works are almost over and suspended ceiling works inside the compound are complete, Sağtürk said: “Marvelous work. We, as artists, are very excited. When the Taksim Square project will be completed, the AKM will become a precious center.”
Being one of the latest artists to perform on stage in the old building of AKM, Sağtürk noted that the new AKM would be a significant asset for Turkish performing arts in Istanbul.
The new cultural complex will comprise five sections with a total area of 95,000 square meters. The architect of the new building is Murat Tabanlıoğlu, the son of Hayati Tabanlıoğlu, who designed the original AKM in 1969.