NSMH completes new concert venue in Istanbul
The Bosphorus in Istanbul, which expresses most sharply the divide between Asia and Europe, is one of the places that must be preserved unchanged with the boats both large and small that go through it and the fabric that surrounds it. It was considered best if buildings to be constructed in this area be, to the greatest extent possible, composed, set back and almost invisible. Therefore, when the architects started working on a ‘concert hall for chamber orchestra’ in this area, located on a museum campus situated almost immediately on the shore of the Bosphorus, the architects knew that they had to design an invisible building. It should not be seen unless pointed out, mentioned or visited.
NSMH decided to build a structure underground and were willing to be squeezed among the roots of the precious existing trees, the foundations of the old house and the walls and terrace which were to preserved 'as is'. The steel structure was assembled on site like a boat. Old stone walls greet you upon entering the campus; through an opening in these walls you enter the lower foyer; an unexpected place. Reached via this space with a curvilinear ‘thing’, painted in the same yellow of the construction machinery, is the upper foyer; a narrow, elongated space parallel to the Bosphorus.
When you enter through the yellow door, the shiny black multifaceted concave ellipsoid exaggeratedly reflects all the colours that enter it with unexpected surprises. What we have before us is a chamber orchestra hall seating 300, with its inner shell composed of acoustic panels, a floor whose inclination can be adjusted and if need be leveled out - the truss on which the necessary equipment can be hung - and a stage that can be expanded according to the size of the orchestra.