CISTERN EVENTS

hipodrom
HIPPODROME EXHIBITION
su-ruhu
YOĞUNLUK’TAN TARİHİ SARNICA “SU RUHU” 28 MART – 28 NISAN 2015 / HER GÜN 10:00-18:30
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IMISTANBUL PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT – 2014 10.01.2015

 

 

 

 

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DOKU’NUŞLAR 16.11.2013
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D(REAM), N(EVER), A(LONE) – INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION 11.05.2013
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THREE GENERATIONS , THREE WAYS 10.12.2012

 

 

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THROUGH CAVERNS MEASURELESS TO MAN
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NAKKAŞ ART GALLERY HEALING PAINTINGS 18.05.2012
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YALE UNIVERSITY ACAPELLA GROUP CONCERT 07.08.2009

 

 

 


 

Of the over 150 cisterns located within the city walls of Istanbul, the Nakilbent cistern is a beautifully preserved example of a 6th century Byzantine cistern. Built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD), the cistern’s interior reveals 18 marble columns supporting brick arches. Seven of the original marble columns have been reinforced during the Ottoman period, and are now surrounded by brick and stone piers. This cistern would have been used as a private water source for the large palace within which it was located. Most likely, this was not originally part of the Great Palace of Constantinople. However, the Nakilbent cistern is located in an area that would have fallen under the expanded palace grounds, when, at the end of the 7th century, Justinian II built 2 large halls, the Lausiakos and the Triklinos. These were later incorporated more completely into the palace grounds under Theophilus in the 9th century.

This magical place is located directly underneath the Nakkas. During the construction of Nakkas, the building design and orientation were changed in order to minimize impact on the cistern. The 20,000 square foot steel framed building was designed to span across the top of the cistern, and rotated so as to reduce the loads coming down. Further, we reduced the size of the steel beams and columns in an effort to lighten the building load, even though it meant we spent more on steel than necessary, as it then required more columns and beams of a smaller dimension.  Further reinforcements were necessary, and so we add the tie-bars in the arches to help with the tensile forces.  Please refer to the video excerpt on our website for more detail and a diagram.

Nakkas restored and reinforced the walls and ceiling of the Nakilbent cistern, and installed a new steel staircase leading down into the space. We kept our intervention minimal, following recommendations of archeological consultants. The original wall materials are exposed, providing a beautiful backdrop for art exhibitions and musical concerts. Nakkas seeks to support artistic endeavors in the community, and so we have a regular schedule of exhibitions from both foreign and Turkish artists that are open and free to visit. Periodically we are able to sponsor musical or vocal concerts, and take advantage of the lovely reverberations the arches in the cistern provide. We were proud to host the vocal chorus, Yale Whiffenpoofs, a few years ago, and have presented classical music concerts to our friends and visitors.  Our exhibitions range from modern interpretations of weaving and textiles to contemporary painting and ceramics.  In 2014, we were excited to host an immersive art installation that truly recreated the feeling of a water-filled cistern. The current exhibition is focused on the nearby Roman Hippodrome, and shows us how the original Hippodrome may have looked and functioned.  We keep an up-to-date listing of events here on our website, and send timely information of new exhibitions in our periodic newsletters. Please make sure and sign up to receive information about current and new exhibitions in our beautiful Nakilbent cistern.