The Red Hemisphere of Culture
İstanbul’s Atatürk Cultural Centre reopened its doors to art lovers on 29 October 2021, the 98th anniversary of the Day of the Turkish Republic. Known as Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, AKM for short, this valuable hub of the rich history of art and culture of Türkiye, refers to its former iconic design.
The centre marks the beginning and is an integral part of the Cultural Route, and its reopening marked the opening of the Beyoğlu Culture Route International Festival in 2021. The AKM welcomes visitors all year round with its opera house, theatre hall, gallery, and the multipurpose halls and facilities, including the AKM Yeşilçam Cinema.
Putting it simply, the AKM is a welcome hub for so much cultural activity and diversity it brings everybody of-the-art world, young and old all under one roof.
Architecturally, the complex is characterised by the massive, bright red hemisphere in the main opera building. It houses the main and unique entrance to the opera house. The textured surface of this monumental sphere constitutes in itself an abstraction of the identity of the AKM and its complex artistic advancement that will receive fans of the culture from all over the world.
The AKM exhibits sublime components of contemporary architecture that pivots when shifting from the numerous features it houses. You can not help but be drawn towards the textured pattern, and luminous red glass that evokes the Turkish insignia of the hemisphere entrance to the Opera House. Then there’s the Arts Plaza that unfolds on different levels where you can discover multimedia installations that seem to interact with visitors the moment you enter or are about to leave a room.
The polished floors of the space, between wooden stairs and lamps that highlight and exhibit hundreds of glass globes, act as a prelude to the new art spaces that are discovered by following the magical sounds and acoustics that rise from the ground floor.
There are also pianos that seem to float on screens that project thousands of beams of luminous light, dancing to the rhythm of the music without summoning a human pianist into a fantastic symphony. One of the pianos overflows with silvery rays and, the other, multicoloured; both of them provide a hypnotic effect to visitors that remain immersed from the moment they begin.
On the second level of the complex, the Art Gallery projects on a screen the uninterrupted march of an artificial crowd, conceived with visual effects revolving around a towering lamp.
An adjoining screen projects the march of individuals who, as they walk, seem to unfold into hundreds of projections of themselves. A few steps from these, a wall-to-ceiling window allows you to look out over the iconic square that overflows the imagination of the artists already exhibiting at the AKM and look forward to the moment to surprise visitors from around the world with their art displayed in this unique aesthetic.
The AKM, which plays an important role in İstanbul’s goal to become a world-leading arts centre, will continue its mission to cultivate, support, and present art, and attract visitors from all walks of life to experience rich content.