Odunpazari Modern Art Museum Eskisehir, Turkey


Odunpazari Modern Art Museum Eskisehir, Turkey, project : Kengo Kuma and Associates


published in l'Arca International n. 151



Project: Kengo Kuma and Associates; Partner in Charge: Yuki Ikeguchi; Project Architect: Yasemin Sahiner; Team: Man Wai Yiu, Anteo Taro Sanada;  Structural Engineer: SIGMA; Facade Engineer: Ateknik Structural Design; Mechanical Engineer: TEMA Engineering and Consulting Trade Ltd.; General Contractor: Polimeks Holdings, INC.; Client: Polimeks Holdings, INC.; Photos: NAARO, Batuhan Keskiner, Kemal Seçkin (Hotel)



Odunpazari Modern Museum (www.omm.art), a 3,582 square meters -new museum  designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates, opened last September in Eskişehir, a university town in the northwest of Turkey, where young population is large and the city has lively and active atmosphere.



Founded by Erol Tabanca, an art collector and businessman, OMM welcomes international audiences to discover its significant collection of modern and contemporary art spanning the 1950s to the present day. The project is to realize the owner’s ambition to promote Turkish art and to make cultural contribution to his own city.



The site is in the area called Odunpazari, which means “wood market” in Turkish. It is situated at the threshold of newly developed urban area and small scale town scape of traditional Ottoman wooden houses. These wooden houses, with cantilevered volume at upper level, were built in lines along the meandering small streets that makes the street scape and walk through experience quite unique and unexpected.

The exterior envelop of the museum is composed with laminated timber pine in full extent signifying the history and memory of the place that used to function as market in trading wood. Kengo Kuma aimed to reflect this street scape quality into the new architectural design of the museum that stands in the urban scale. The design strategy was to make the volume in aggregation; stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture.



Stacked boxes at the street level is read in the scale of surrounding houses and it grows taller towards the center of the museum to stands in the urban scape that announces itself as new cultural landmark of the area. The stacked and interlocked boxes are designed in various sizes to create diverse scales of exhibition space inside.



Boxes at the ground level offers opportunities for large scale art works and installation. The boxes get smaller at upper levels to exhibit smaller, intimate scale art works.



The central atrium, composed with timber blocks, connects each level to let the natural light through skylight above.



Nearby the museum, OMM INN, a new boutique hotel, has also opened. The hotel’s design, by Istanbul-based construction company Polimeks, puts a contemporary twist on the Ottoman residential architecture that is synonymous with the town of Odunpazari and echoes the stacked timber structure of the adjoining museum.



Built partly inside an Ottoman-era home, sophisticated simplicity and attention to detail are at the core of OMM INN, with 12 custom designed rooms and an open courtyard.