Santral Istanbul

Kazım Karabekir Caddesi 2, Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali, Eyüp, Istanbul 34060 | +90-212-311 78 78

Opening Hours: 10.00am-6.00pm Tue-Fri | 10.00am-8.00pm Sat-Sun | Monday closed


In surroundings more green than Tophane and more peaceful than Beyoğlu, the gallery at Santral is a good bet for a cultural pit-stop on a boat trip up the Golden Horn. The curators put together exhibitions on eclectic international subjects, from German architecture to Italian design and Colombian contemporary art, with the focus switching occasionally to subjects taught at Bilgi University, which occupies most of this enormous converted Ottoman power station. In daylight, the steel and glass cuboid blocks that make up the gallery space are dark and imposing from the outside, but at night, illuminated, they come to life.

With the events and activities it organizes, santralistanbul aspires to be an international platform for arts, culture and learning, inspired by a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary vision which promotes urban regeneration.

In its original incarnation, before restoration and conversion into santralistanbul, the Silahtarağa Power Plant is the Ottoman Empire's first urban-scale power plant. The facility went into service on the Golden Horn, Istanbul’s oldest industrial area, in 1911 and supplied the city with electricity up until 1983. Today, the power plant stands as a unique industrial heritage site following its conversion into santralistanbul, a project which involved the collaboration of public sector, private sector and non-governmental organizations alike. Opening its doors on 8 September 2007, santralistanbul is one the most exhaustive conversion projects to be carried out in Turkey in the field of arts and culture.

santralistanbul has hosted over 20 national and international exhibitions since opening, among them Modern and Beyond, Uncharted and Yüksel Arslan Retrospective. Together, these exhibitions have attracted more than 500,000 visitors. In addition, santralistanbul has welcomed numerous leading international artists and thinkers for various events.

santralistanbul is a sum of many parts. These comprise, variously: the Museum of Energy, Turkey’s first industrial archaeology museum which came about with the conversion of the power plant's original turbine rooms and meticulous preservation of its contents; the Main Gallery building, a 3500 sqm space for contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events which was named an International Architecture Awards winner in 2010; the Gallery 1 building, which houses the Krek theatre and its innovative stage design, as well as exhibition spaces; Tamirane and Otto Santral, dining, refreshment and entertainment venues of award-winning design, which were converted from the maintenance workshop and and storage buildings of the former power plant.

Besides, on the educational front, santralistanbul organizes science, arts, technology and cultural workshops for children, teenagers and adults within santralatölye. Children and Teenager Workshops realize on weekends and Adult Workshops realize on the specific days of the week. Workshops are original in content and take place at different venues around the santralistanbul complex.

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