‘At the heart of this project was a desire to create a link between people and art. We wanted the building to carry the historical and memory of the town, to resonate both on a human scale and with the unique streetscape of Odunpazari, which passing through is a special experience in itself.’ – Kengo Kuma & Yui Ikeguchi, Partner leading the project.
Set in the town of Odunpazari, Turkey, lies Kengo Kuma’s most recent architectural creation. Known for its historical timber market, Odunpazari, which translates to ‘wood market’ and where historical 19th-century Ottoman architecture defines the town, was the ideal spot for Kuma’s Modern Museum. With a rich cultural history which has placed it on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, Odunpazari is entering a new cultural era whilst simultaneously maintaining a deep integration of traditional practises.
Where to begin with the structural beauty of this building?
Entirely comprised of stacked interlocking wooden boxes, Kengo Kuma and Associates managed to marry a rich traditional past with a contemporary vision. The result? A showstopping design-led museum displaying works largely from Turkish artists to create a space for both locals and visitors. A design which cleverly plays with angles and scales, Kuma designed it to be multifaceted and open plan. A skylit atrium acts as the central core of the structure, allowing ‘natural light to permeate throughout the building’.
Open to the public as of September 2019, the three-floored space is undoubtedly paying tribute to the Odunpazari’s unique streetscape and nature. Founder of the Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM) Erol Tabanca notes, ‘OMM will stand as a new landmark that reconnects the town with its history, and as a progressive cultural development for Eskisehir and the Central Anatolian region at large.’ Featuring a local and international collection of modern art, Odunpazari’s newest Modern Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates