Containing two concert halls, five galleries, offices and cafés, the arts center is conceived as a platform for communication rather than an insular cultural institute. The reinforced concrete structure is set on piled foundations to avoid earthquake damage and is faced in Turkish travertine marble. It is subtle and reserved, giving focus to the performances it contains and providing relief from its chaotic urban context. Key to this is a new public space that extends from the centre, creating a recess in the dense fabric of Izmir. This new ‘urban stage’ encourages artists to borrow views from daily life and vice versa, intrinsically connecting the center with the city.