New Atatürk Cultural Center nears completion, soon to serve Istanbul

Construction on the new Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) has continued since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan laid its foundation on Feb. 10, 2019. To date, 86% of the construction has been completed on the center, which is one of the landmarks of Istanbul’s Taksim Square. The construction of the AKM is being carried out in accordance with social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Work on the dropped ceiling, glass partition joinery and stone floors continues in the interior and 70% of its fin facade has been completed. The memorial wall by ceramic artists Sadi Diren from the old AKM building has been renovated in accordance with the original goal to preserve the artist’s memory. The spiral staircase in the opera foyer of the old building has also been replicated in accordance with the original.

An aerial view of the ongoing construction at Atatürk Cultural Center, Taksim Square, Istanbul, Feb. 26, 2020. (DHA PHOTO)
An aerial view of the ongoing construction at Atatürk Cultural Center, Taksim Square, Istanbul, Feb. 26, 2020. (DHA PHOTO)

The new building will have an opera hall that can seat 2,040 people, a theater hall for 805 people, a conference room with a capacity of 1,000 people, a cinema that can host 285 people, a theater for 250 people, an exhibition hall, a library and a parking lot for 885 cars. On the top floor of the new building, there will be a restaurant with a view extending from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge to the Golden Horn.

The exterior of the new AKM building will double as a giant screen, allowing people in Taksim Square to watch live theater, ballet and opera performances.