Borusan Music and Art House


Location: Istanbul / Turkey 

Architectural Project & Design: Gokhan Avcioglu & GAD

Project Team: Serkan Cedetas, Gozde Nur Demir, Ozan Ertug, Arzu Meyvaci, Ertugrul Morcol, Yeliz Ozsoy, Bora Soykut, Baris Ucar, Ayhan Urguplu

Building Type: Cultural, Redevelopment, Public, Interior

Construction Area: 1.900 m2 

Project Site Area: 230 m2

Year: 2009

Status: Built

2012 Highly Recommended Public Service Architecture for Borusan Music and Art House for Europe, International Property Awards

2011 Best Alternative Investments for the Borusan Music and Art House, ArkiPARC

2011 International Architecture Award for the Borusan Music and Art House, Chicago Athenaeum and Europe Architecture Centre 




The Borusan Music and Art Center in Istanbul's historic neighborhood of Beyoglu, is a multi-purpose event space for exhibitions and performance. This new space symbolizes the cultural and artistic renaissance occurring throughout the city while paying homage to the grand architectural legacy of Istanbul.

GAD preserved and restored the delicate historic shell typical of the Belle Époque era buildings along the famous Istiklal Caddesi. The building's core was carefully removed to reveal a constructible void. Into this, GAD inserted a structural ‘box’ which created the opportunity for a modern program within the building is core. This ‘box’ was designed and built using a lightweight steel frame system along its perimeter. 

The entrance level features an exhibition space that greets the public with walking columns lining the perimeter of the space, in direct opposition to the austere street façade. Open performance spaces on the second and third levels can accommodate up to 200 people each. The fourth floor is a rehearsal space, while the fifth and sixth floors are multi-purpose spaces. The rooftop terrace offers magnificent panoramic views of Istanbul.

This strategy allows for an open plan and offers programmatic flexibility between all floors. The inserted ‘box’ seems to defy gravity, framed by and articulated from the historic masonry shell. This juxtaposition activates a playful tension not only between materials and construction, but between past and present. This restoration illustrates the notion of "mask and skull,” calling out the former building’s shell as ornamentation and the program within as a perfectly disconnected space.