Friday, July 7, 2017


Silahtarağa, Eyüp - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°03'59.0"N 28°56'45.0"E / 41.066389, 28.945833

 photo santralistanbul116.jpg



The Silahtarağa Power Station (Turkish: Silahtarağa Elektrik Santralı) was a coal-fired thermal power station located in Istanbul, Turkey. Ottoman Empire's first power plant, it served from 1914 to 1983.

The Silahtarağa Power Plant was the Ottoman Empire’s first urban-scale electrical power plant. Built at the mouth of the Kağıthane and Alibeyköy rivers at the tail-end of the Golden Horn, the power plant was Istanbul’s sole electricity provider from 1914 to 1952. Silahtarağa’s generating capacity reached a peak of 120,000 kilowatts in 1956, after which it gradually declined until the plant was decommissioned on 18 March 1983.

1910 : Austro-Hungarian company Ganz wins the bid opened for the installation of a power station in İstanbul. Establishing the Ottoman Electric Company Inc., Ganz begins working.
1914 : The Silahtarağa Power Plant starts running. Electricity is first supplied to the tramway system and later to the European side of the city.
1926 : Electricity is supplied to the Anatolian side with the submarine cable installed between Arnavutköy and Vaniköy.
1937 : The state buys the Electric Company and puts it under the management of the İstanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel (İETT) Enterprises General Directorate. Until 1952, Silahtarağa remains the sole electricity provider of the city.
1970 : The Silahtarağa Power Plant is handed over to the Turkish Electrical Authority (TEK).
1983 : Having completed its economic life, the Silahtarağa Power Plant terminates production.
2004 : Work for the preservation and transformation of the Silahtarağa Power Plant into santralistanbul starts
2007 : Santralİstanbul, which is formed by preservation and reservation of Silahtarağa Power Plant, starts to serve as a centre for education, culture and arts.

The power plant was projected as being the first one in the Ottoman Empire apart from a small hydroelectric power station, which went into service 1902 in Tarsus, Anatolia. The Budapest based Austria-Hungarian Ganz Electric Company was selected to built the power station. It founded in 1910 the Ottoman Electric Company in cooperation with two foreign banks, Banque de Bruxelles and Banque Generale de Credit Hangrois. The company obtained a concession for 50 years, and built a coal-fired thermal power plant in Silahtarağa neighborhood in Eyüp at the upper end of Golden Horn.

The power plant started its service on February 11, 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I, supplying power to tram net and three days later to the sultan's palace and some households in three different corners of the city as well.

The foreign-owned company was nationalized in 1937 and turned over on July 1, 1938 to the Municipality of Istanbul for its management by the Electricity, Tunnel and Tram Company of Istanbul (IETT). Silahtarağa power station was the lone electric supplier in Istanbul until 1950s. In 1952, the station was linked to the newly created interconnect electric system of Turkey. It was transferred to Etibank in 1962 and 1963. In 1970, the power station was turned over to the Turkish Electric Institution (TEK).

Silahtarağa power station had initially 3 units of 6 MW power each. The capacity was later increased to a total power of 80 MW. On March 13, 1983, Silahtarağa power station was shut down due to reaching the end of its economic service life. It is Turkey's first power plant closed. The site stood dormant since then. In 1991, Silahtarağa power plant was listed under the cultural and natural objects in Istanbul to be protected.


In 2002, a redevelopment plan was worked out by Oğuz Özerden, a young businessman and founder of Istanbul Bilgi University. The project foresaw the conversion of the former plant site into a university campus with creation of a modern art museum and an energy museum particularly. Despite a rivaling project of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers' Istanbul branch in cooperation with Istanbul Technical University, Bilgi University's project was approved by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, and could be realized in three years with financial support of some leading Turkish companies.

The Silahtarağa Power Plant sprawled over a 118,000 m2 site comprising engine rooms with turbine generators, boiler rooms, management buildings, workers’ quarters and vast coal yards. It stands today as one of Turkey’s top industrial heritage sites. Converting the Silahtarağa Power Plant into Santralİstanbul was a process that involved retaining as many of the original elements as possible. Work began in May 2004 and was completed in September 2007.

The site was converted into a university campus for the Istanbul Bilgi University with two museums and several facilities for different purposes. It is renamed SantralIstanbul and reopened in 2007. The complex was renamed SantralIstanbul after the Turkish language word "Santral" for power station, and opened officially on September 8, 2007. It comprises a modern art museum, an energy museum, a public library, an amphitheater and several other facilities for arts, cultural, educational and social purposes.

The SantralIstanbul (Turkish: Santralİstanbul), opened in 2007, is an arts and cultural complex located at the upper end of Golden Horn in the Eyüp district of Istanbul, Turkey. The center, consisting of a modern art museum, an energy museum, an amphitheater, concert halls and a public library, is situated within the Silahtarağa campus of Istanbul Bilgi University that was formerly the first power station of the Ottoman Empire.

Important technical remains of the former power station are preserved and can be seen in the Energy museum, which was designed by architect Han Tümertekin. Situated in the turbine hall having three generator groups, the museum is the summary of the steam turbines, the electrical generators and the equipment of the power plant on the show in almost original conditions.

The Silahtarağa Power Plant's first two engine rooms, built in 1913 and 1921 respectively, were reinforced and converted into the santralistanbul Museum of Energy, retaining as many original elements as possible. The first step in the power plant’s conversion to Museum of Energy was to halt the corrosion of the turbine generators and other machinery which had set in as a result of disuse since the plant’s decommissioning in 1983.

Teams of experts moved in to clean up the machinery and apply a protective anti-corrosion sealant. Thereafter, the number one turbine generator group was restored to its original appearance of 1931. Meanwhile, the number three turbine generator group, which had been dismantled when production stopped at the plant, was preserved exactly as left.

In the Museum of Energy's number one and two Engine Rooms, visitors currently have the chance to see the AEG, Brown Boveri, Siemens and Thomson Houston made turbine generator groups. These were the key components of electricity generation at the Silahtarağa Power Plant and reflect the advanced technology of the age.

The Control Room, which oversaw the generation of electricity and its transmission to different districts around Istanbul, has been preserved intact, complete with elaborate control devices and equipment. Throughout the long and painstaking preservation process, the exact position of missing or damaged items was marked and surviving items cleaned and sealed against corrosion.

The ground floor of the Museum of Energy is given over to the Energy Play Zone, a fun-meets-science space featuring 22 interactive exhibits. It’s here that visitors get to generate electricity themselves, to morph into batteries, make magnetic sculptures, struggle with a stubborn suitcase, touch thousands of volts without thinking twice and dabble in many more scientific experiments. Besides, most of the panels, seminars and talks realized within santralistanbul since its foundation, were held at the Cinema/Seminar Room situated on the ground floor of the Museum of Energy.

Another not-to-be-missed Museum of Energy installation comes in the form of the Reactable, a revolutionary new electronic musical instrument using an illuminated round table-top interface. To ‘play’ the instrument, the musician manipulates translucent objects over the interface, at which point the objects begin interacting.

The Reactable was originally displayed as an exhibit in Uncharted, a temporary show heldat the santralistanbul Main Gallery. In August 2009, after the show ended, it was gifted to the Museum of Energy as a permanent exhibit. The internationally award-winning instrument was used on stage by Björk during her Volta world tour.


WEB SITE : Santralistanbul Energy Museum

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