In Greek and Roman times, the city was known as Pergamon, whose Altar of Zeus is on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Historic remnants such as the ruins of an acropolis and a Roman theater can still be seen in Bergama. The architects note, however, that aside from its ancient culture, modern Bergama had few modern cultural activities.
The new cultural center is located near Cumhuriyet Avenue, where stores and pedestrian walkways are the rule. The architects proposed an arcade with shops as ewll as cultural spaces such as library, cinemas, and a theater. Cafés and seating areas serve the cinema and multipurpose room, allowing day-to-day life to integrate itself into the ongoing flow of the city. “With all of these qualities,” the architects note, “the Bergama project breaks the image of the ‘cultural center’ that fails to form a relationship to the citizens, and makes itself a citizen of Pergamon.