SALT explores critical and timely issues in visual and material culture, and cultivates innovative programs for research and experimental thinking. Assuming an open attitude and establishing itself as a site of learning and debate SALT aims to challenge, excite and provoke its visitors by encouraging them to offer critique and response.
SALT Research sources diverse fields of knowledge and provides outlets for thought within the fissures and crossovers of different disciplines. The institution’s research projects expand beyond linear chronologies, medium-based questions, and the traditional separation of fields of study. SALT assembles archives of recent art, architecture, design, urbanism, and social and economic histories to make them available for research and public use. These resources will be interpreted in the form of exhibitions and discussed in all other areas of programming.
SALT’s activities are distributed between SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata in İstanbul, and SALT Ulus in Ankara within an integrated program structure. SALT Beyoğlu, is on the pedestrian street İstiklal Caddesi, and shares its audience with a cluster of private cultural institutions, galleries and organizations. SALT Beyoğlu’s program and circulation interiors are mainly occupied by exhibition and event spaces. The building of SALT Galata was formerly the 19th century Imperial Ottoman Bank headquarters designed by Alexandre Vallaury. SALT Galata is organized to enable a challenging, multi-layered program that includes SALT Research, offering public access to thousands of print and digital resources; spaces dedicated to research; workshops; an exhibition and conference hall; as well as the Ottoman Bank Museum. SALT Ulus is a site for exhibitions and programs, and hosts young researchers for extended periods in two research residency offices.
The architectural renovation of SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata was undertaken by Mimarlar Tasarım/Han Tümertekin, with specific interiors commissioned to six design and architecture offices from Turkey in an effort to underscore SALT’s desire to advocate new experimental environments for living and working.