Ataturk Culture Center Istanbul, Turkey

Ataturk Culture Center




Before closing its doors for renovation in 2008, Atatürk Kültür Merkezi – with five concert halls, an art gallery and a cinema – was the largest and most important arts complex in Istanbul.

This project involved a complete renovation of the national opera house, along with its major rehearsal halls, a small concert hall, a theatre and cinema. The opera company shares the hall with the in-house state symphony orchestra and ballet company (and also the state modern folk music ensemble and Turkish music choir) so equal consideration of the needs of all parties had to be taken into account. Room acoustics and the ability for quick turnaround were essential requirements to accommodate heavily-programmed spaces.

AMPC and the son of the original architect, Tabanlioglu, undertook a sensitive re-modelling of the opera house, theatre, concert hall and cinema. In the the opera house AMPC proposed two levels of stepping balconieds, a remodelled proscenium zone, a new powered flying system, refurbished stage lifts, orchestra pit lifts, and a new orchestra shell. AMPC designed, prepared and completed the tender documentation in a record three months.

SSD provided full acoustic design services, looking at improvements for all the spaces in detail, assessing suitability and change in use where necessary. Recommendations ranging from updating and improving mechanical services noise control and sound isolation between spaces (including the addition of noise-isolating structural elements) were detailed, ensuring the very low background noise levels modern day audiences expect. Other major recommendations to the internal room shaping included the re-configuration and re-shaping of wall and ceiling elements that were currently working against the principles of good performance acoustics. Changes in the finishes of opera house and concert hall included the use of a large concert shell structure to create a new, more appropriate concert setting for the orchestra.