Odunpazari Eskisehir, Turkey
Kengo Kuma and design partner Yuki Ikeguch have completed the new art center with a stacked timber structure that has already established itself as a landmark building for the university town of Eskisehir and the wider Central Anatolia region.
Founded by art collector and businessman Erol Tabanca, the museum, along with several other city museums in the surrounding area, creates a museum square, as well as a public meeting place for the town.
The new city’s 4,500 m² landmark introduces an innovative design and a dynamic lineup of multidisciplinary exhibitions and diverse public programming.
The 4,500m2 building’s distinctive structural design and materiality draw inspiration from Odunpazari’s traditional Ottoman wooden cantilevered houses synonymous with the area.
It also pays homage to the town’s history as a thriving wood market, reconnecting the town with its heritage.
Split across three floors, the museum offers a variety of exhibition spaces with larger spaces set on the ground level while the smaller rooms are located on the upper levels of the building, providing a home for smaller-scale works of art.
At the center of the building is a skylit atrium that allows natural light to permeate throughout the interior spaces.
“The idea for OMM was to use architecture to create a link between people and art,” states Kuma.
“We were deeply inspired by the history, culture, people and streetscape of Odunpazari, and we wanted the building to resonate on many levels.”
“We hope that the new museum will breathe new life into Eskisehir and become a central and
inviting point for the city”.
Curated by Turkish curator Haldun Dostuglu, the museum’s first inaugural exhibition featured
over 100 works by 60 predominantly Turkish modern and contemporary artists, featuring works
from the 1950’s to present day.
The museum also features a commissioned site-specific installation by Japanese bamboo artist
Tanabe Chikuumsai IV, who has crafted a woven bamboo artwork that interacts and complements the museum’s architecture.
“The opening of OMM marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration and innovation in the University City of Eskisehir. We are opening up the doors of the iconic new building to create an institution that will be a stepping stone for young artists. I don’t see OMM as a museum – it’s a platform, a bridge, for young creatives to have their voices heard,” states Idil Tabanca, Chairperson and Creative Director of OMM.
Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates
Client: The Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMMA)
Photographers: Kemal Seçkin