Santralistanbul aims to be a comprehensive, multidimensional and interdisciplinary international venue with the goal of contributing to urban revival with the help of its artistic and cultural activities.
The Silahtarağa Power Plant, which was transformed into Santralistanbul, was the first urban-scale power plant of the Ottoman Empire. The facility provided electricity to the city from 1911 to 1983 and was established in Haliç, the oldest industrial zone of Istanbul. The efforts to transform the Silahtarağa Power Plant, with its features of a unique national industrial heritage, into Santralistanbul were carried out with public and private sector contributions as well as non-governmental organizations. Santralistanbul was opened on September 8, 2007. Since its inception, it has hosted over 20 national and international exhibitions, including Modern and Beyond, Without A Map, and the Yüksel Arslan Retrospective; these exhibitions were visited by more than 500 thousand people. Furthermore, Santralistanbul has hosted many festivals, launches, conferences and outdoor activities and welcomed many prominent international artists and intellectuals.
The Santralistanbul campus consists of the Energy Museum, the first archaeological industrial museum of Turkey established by transforming the old machinery compartments that won the “DASA award” from the European Museum Academy in 2012; the Main Gallery building that hosts contemporary art exhibitions and cultural activities; “International Architecture Awards 2010” winning Main Gallery; the design award-winning food and beverage section, created by converting the maintenance and warehouse buildings and finally the educational buildings of Istanbul Bilgi University.