Ankara has a new landmark with an international appeal; The Presidential Symphony Concert Hall which lies in the heart of the city , right in the middle of the axis going between the historic Ankara Castle and Anıtkabir (mosuleum of Atatürk)...
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From the architect: The cutting- edge building with its focus on culture aims to prove an asset to both local and global music scene while being the product and instigator of interaction and exchange among citizens.
In May 1992, national architectural project competition for the building of ACC (Atatürk Cultural Center) Presidential Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall was announced. The proposed project, submitted by Semra Uygur and Özcan Uygur, was chosen over forty-five other entries. Design principal of the first prize winner project of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall started as a urban unification process in order to merge the divisions of area designated as Atatürk Cultural Center in 1981. The music center complex is embedded in the relatively abandoned city-landscape within a field which is the only gap looking through Anıtkabir from Ataturk Boulevard which functions as the main avenue since the first urban plans of Ankara.
The winning project became prominent among other competition entries with its spatial quailty of being timeless by providing a compelling social urban relation. By spotting that the site is embedded in the relatively abandoned city-landscape within a field which is the only gap looking through Anıtkabir and the historic Ankara City castle from Atatürk Boulevard, the main principal of the design constitutes itself.
The decision was to avoid interrupting the views of Ankara’s symbolic Anıtkabir mausoleum dedicated to modern Turkey’s founder and first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The design strategy prioritizes vistas of both monuments. According to the jury report, the building reveals a symbolic architecture that will not wear out over time, rather than a design language that can be valid for a certain period of time.
The configuration of the complex is so designed that the triangular prism foyer joins the dialogue between Ankara castle and Anıtkabir. Thus, a depiction of the “Before and After Republic” intensified through a cultural house. This foyer is designed as an “urban room” by being transparent and publicly accessible. The colossal egg-shaped dome designed as Symphony Orchetsra Hall with the capacity of 2000 audience, and the sphere dome designed as Champher Orchestra Hall with the capacity of 500 audience are popping out of this vaulted triangular prism foyer.
Following the vineyard hall architecture concept, in The Symphony Orchesta Hall musicians are placed in the middle, while audiences rise in a steep incline to surround the stage. To ensure the perfect acoustic qualities, German Professor W. Fasold together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics collaborated with architects.
Concrete shells of these two halls’ domes are constructed by unique pneumatic formworks. This is a technique used for a few times in the world, and this was the first time used in Turkey. Foyer and the concert halls are sunken and located on the lowest level of the site. The symbolical approach is depicted by the distinct and dynamic Euclidian forms and their poetic compositions. Foyer and the concert halls are located on the lowest level of the site and a reflection pool surrounded them.
The pool mirrors the sky, the city and the halls around reflecting the different weather conditions and redefines the atmosphere every single day. On both sides of this rectangular pool two identical buildings are positioned diagonally as if popping out of the earth enigmatizing and embracing the concert halls. The complex creates a crater lake imprint and otherworldly impact. In these upward-tilted buildings administrative and educational units and professional studios are found. Guest’s experience is a clear incentive which eschews a singular roof or façade to convey a sculptural structure composed of seemingly independent forms and the balance of curvilinear and sharp-edged buildings.
The new building complex constitutes an indoor area of 62,547 square meters. In addition to the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra, it will host the Ankara State Polyphonic Choir, Ankara Turkic World Music Ensemble, Ankara State Turkish Folk Music Choir, Ankara State Classical Turkish Music Choir and State Folk Dances Ensemble.
Dating from 1992, the extraordinary construction story of The Presidential Symphony Concert Hall complex is eventually concluded. The foundation was laid in 1997, and the construction endured until the year of 2014 because of insufficient allowance. In the year of 2017 construction process is launched again and in the year of 2020 the complex was almost done. During this 29 years period since the competition, 5 Presidents, 10 Prime Ministers, and 20 different Ministers of Culture have taken charge in.
On 3rd of December 2020, Presidential Symphony Orchestra inaugurated this new concert hall with a gala event. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic the concert hall was closed for a while.
Located in the heart of the city, The Presidential Symphony Concert Hall Complex stands as an architectural landmark and can be seen by all and sundry because of its significant positioning and striking image. The design is an unintentional statement on a futuristic aesthetic which looks back at the time of conceptualization from the very future.
Architect: Uygur Architects
Location: Altındağ, Turkey
Principal Architect: Semra Uygur - Özcan Uygur
Projecct Team: Necati Seren, Güliz Erkan, Ayhan Abanozcu, Bozkurt Yurdakul, Sandro Capadona, Eser Köken İşleyici, Ebru Can, İrem Erdinç, Ömer Emre Şavural, Aslı Kaya, Evrim Özlem Kale, Emine Kirman
Photography: Cemal Emden
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