Architectural Dynamics towards the inclusion of the Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM) in Taksim Square, Istanbul: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Design Evolution from Tabanlıoğlu Generation

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This study specifically examines the Ataturk Cultural Centre, AKM in Istanbul from 1956 until the present by focusing on the issue of reconstruction of the same building by the Tabanlıoğlu father-and-son generation. This examination explores how the design of the Ataturk Cultural Centre evolved from Hayati Tabanlıoğlu's initial concept to Murat Tabanlıoğlu's subsequent contributions. The aim is to explore the dynamic between the original and the new construction of the building and to assess how the redesigned AKM cultivates a socio-economic impact within the culture it serves. At first, at to request of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, French architect Henri Prost proposed an urban plan for Istanbul. This plan included the innovative concept of building an opera house in Taksim Square, known as the 'Istanbul Opera House'. Later it will be known as the ‘Palace of Culture’. The government actively chose to uphold and carry forward the legacy of this design idea, recognizing its significant cultural value. The new AKM particularly emphasizes the importance of preserving key design features of the old AKM. Based on the argument that there is a direct proportion between the old and the new main volume, this study aims to show that the new AKM has enhanced public-related functions instead of creating only one big opera space. AKM was initially thought of only as an opera house but was re-identified as a 'Cultural Lane' in line with the needs of its time. For this reason, the scope of the study consists of analyzing the design evolution between 1956 and the present. It tries to verify that these architects together with their generational background, the education they received, and the quality of the spaces they created. According to the research, it sees that there is a significant connection between old and new AKM. In this context, the hypothesis derives from that the new AKM, preserving key design features, has evolved beyond its initial role as an opera house, transforming into a 'Cultural Lane' with enhanced public-related functions and more accessibility in terms of socio-economic culture.