This project has taken a historic building on the famous Istiklal Caddesi and inserted a modern core to provide a multi-purpose cultural centre. The historic shell has been restored, while the contemporary box at its heart comprises a lightweight steel dia-grid frame of V columns supporting open-plan floors, including two storeys of exhibition space, double-height concert halls, rehearsal rooms, a cafe and roof terrace. Many art works are integral to the building, including LEDs illuminating the V columns. While preserving Istanbul’s architectural heritage, the project also aims to symbolise the city’s artistic renaissance in a playful tension between past and present.
In the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the architects of projects enrolled through the nomination programme receive an Award documentation package which describes the standardised presentation requirements. In addition to submitting photographs, slides, and architectural drawings, architects are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire pertaining to use, cost, environmental and climatic factors, construction materials, building schedule, and, more importantly, design concepts and each project's significance within its own context. These project presentation documents include the architect's record and the aforementioned submission documents.