The Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square is counting down the days to its inauguration as it prepares to welcome visitors on Oct. 29, the 98th anniversary of Republic Day.
The construction of the center, of which the foundation was laid by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 10, 2019, was completed this month. The project was headed by architect Murat Tabanlıoğlu.
The opera sphere, located at the entrance of AKM, was made using 15,000 special handmade red ceramic tiles.
The center has been furnished with a green roof system showcasing its environmentalist approach as it has been designed to maximize daylight.
The new AKM houses a giant opera hall sprawled across approximately 4,500 square meters (48,437 square feet) of the foyer area, with a capacity of 2,040 people. The pit area on the stage of the hall is large enough to accommodate a giant orchestra of 118 people.
The stage mechanics and systems use the world's leading technology. The stage with a depth of 65 meters (213 feet) has four main stage elevators and 13 compensator elevators along the sides and backstage, which will have four moving wagons placed on them. In addition, there is one revolving wagon on the main stage.
All of AKM's halls have been equipped with the highest quality materials for acoustic, sound, light and visual systems.
The center, meanwhile, preserves the essence of ceramic artist Sadi Diren's wall from the original AKM as it has been carefully recreated.
The center houses stages, backstage rooms, foyers, workshops and warehouse areas, ballet practice halls, soloist and orchestra study rooms, recording studios and rehearsal halls, art galleries, exhibition halls and coffee shops.
It also hosts an art gallery, cinema, restaurant, cafe, bookshop cafe, children's art center, music platform, library, design shop and a multi-purpose hall.
The new AKM will begin to serve the public on the 98th anniversary of the Oct. 29 Republic Day.