Kengo Kuma’s Odunpazari Modern Museum in Turkey.
Photo: NAARO

Kengo Kuma–Designed Odunpazari Modern Museum Opens in Turkey

The building pays homage to the local history of wood trading with a stacked-timber design that riffs on the region’s Ottoman-era dwellings

Originally founded by the Phrygians some 3,000 years ago, Eskişehir will soon welcome the Odunpazari Modern Museum, the first-ever institution dedicated to contemporary art in the Turkish city. Located 190 miles southeast of Istanbul, the 48,000-square-foot building by Kengo Kuma & Associates pays homage to the local history of wood trading with a stacked-timber design that riffs on the region’s Ottoman-era dwellings.

The mastermind of the ambitious venture is construction mogul and art aficionado Erol Tabanca, whose 1,000-piece collection, which includes works by Jaume Plensa, Robert Longo, and Sarah Morris, will be housed inside. Curated by Galeri Nev cofounder Haldun Dostoğlu, the inaugural exhibition opens in September and will showcase more than 200 works by 60 leading Turkish artists, plus a major site-specific installation by Japanese bamboo master Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, a longtime collaborator of Kuma’s firm, who strikes the perfect balance between art and architecture.

Recommended: Kengo Kuma Expands the Portland Japanese Garden

Japanese bamboo master Tanabe Chikuunsai IV’s site-specific installation. Photo: Batuhan Keskiner
A young visitor peers down at Tanabe Chikuunsai IV’s site-specific work. Photo: NAARO
Voids punctuate a gallery within the new Odunpazari Modern Museum. Photo: NAARO
Voids punctuate a gallery within the new Odunpazari Modern Museum. Photo: NAARO
Light glows from within one of the stacked-timber elements. Photo: Batuhan Keskiner

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