UNIQ Cultural Center
Ayazaga, a recently developed business district of Istanbul, was also famous with its vast green areas, forests and hunting mansions dating back to late Ottoman periods. One of the large sites in this area owned by the Ministry of Culture and it had been on the project table since 1995. After a first attempt to build a large cultural center had been halted for more than 10 years, the site was left with a huge unfinished building until 2010. ERA was given the responsibility by the new leaseholder of the site to develop a new project to host multiple cultural events.
The project is situated on large a sloped site with three historical mansions inside. ERA’s first intention was to rehabilitate the existing construction but when it was understood that that would be impossible with the new regulations, the program requirement and site was handled with a fresh start.
150.000sqm project is a mixed use complex including a 6.000 person multi-purpose concert hall, a 1.000 person symphony hall, a museum, meeting rooms, art galleries, offices, restaurants, cafes, shopping units, a dance studio, a gym and underground parking for 1.250 cars.
The major problem was to place such a dense program into a delicate site with three historical mansions inside and a steep topography. Thus a rational grid was laid over the site allowing free space around the existing mansions and free circulation areas around the large blocks hosting concert halls, office spaces and the shopping area.
Topography was used as a benefit for secluding big masses or scaling down the buildings height for the sake of pedestrian perception.