Şişhane Theatre Architectural Project Competition


Scope of work: Architectural design

Architects tend to design theatres according to technical data, making the architectural features more important then the actual performance’s features. The name theatre comes from the Greek word “theatron” which means “a place to see”, so we wanted to create a place that people can see, a place where they can get involved. The site is located in one of the main cultural and recreational areas in Istanbul, the Beyoglu district, and on this site we are moving the theatre back to the street, creating a space where people can interact and share art and performance.
We foresee a double sided relation, not the classical one sided relation of getting a ticket and watching a play. We wanted the theatre to be more than just a place for entertainment, it should also be a meeting and sharing space, just like it was in the origin of it. By turning the fuctions that make contact with the people into mobile elements (like ticket counter, food stand, advertisements…) we tried to create fun, interactive and flexible contact points.
Theatre as an art form  wants to renew itself. The need for this newness can be satisfied by appropriate architectural approaches. So we came up with the term “blank box” which is a critique of the “black box” which started as something experimental, but turned into a typology. We inserted this “blank box”  in the most visible and direct place, in the front, so that people can see this newness, and start interacting with it, people should experience it so that the theatre can exist.
Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal
Text: Begüm Erol