Wooden museum will house modern art collection

An architect’s own modern art collection is being housed in a new museum which recently opened its doors in north west Turkey.

The Odunpazari Modern Museum contains art owned by Erol Tabanca, who is the chairperson of Turkish contractors Polimeks as well as being an architect himself.

The building has been designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates and is made up of boxes which have been made from stacked, interlocking timber beams.

The Odunpazari district of the city of Eskisehir, where the museum is located, was once renowned as a centre for timber trading. As well as timber being a sustainable solution for the design of the building, it is also a nod to the local area’s industrial history.

Project lead Yuki Ikeguchi acknowledges this as a decisive factor in the design of the museum.

"Timber is really important to the town's heritage,” she said.

"Ensuring that the building spoke to the history and memory of its setting was always front and centre in our minds. It has been always our practice's keen interest to build with timber that gives comfort and warmth to the space and is kind to the environment.

Ensuring that the building spoke to the history and memory of its setting was always front and centre in our minds

The housing in the surrounding area has also influenced the makeup of the design as the stacked timber boxes have been arranged fit in with the streetscape provided by the Ottoman houses nearby.

"It was my intention to make a link to the unique character of the Ottoman houses adjacent to the site by stacking and rotating the boxes that offer the opportunity to house exhibitions and activities in various scales," Ikeguchi said.

"Not just in the formalist manner, but to continue the streetscape and recreate the non-linear journey of visiting the inside of the museum."

This is similar to the ‘green village’ being hailed as “Norway’s most innovative housing project,” due to its use of wood to build a number of five-story apartment buildings in the city of Fredrikstad.

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