Kengo Kuma & Associates Design Timber-Clad Modern Art Museum in Turkey

Japanese Studio Kengo Kuma & Associates has unveiled design plans for a modern art museum in Eskishehr, Turkey. The Odunpazari Modern Art museum will be located on the site of a former wood market in the northwestern university town, and it will hold collections of Turkish modern art. The revealed renderings of the museum show stacks of slated wood with various orientations and heights, such that the highest mass is at the center. The design is inspired by traditional wooden Ottoman houses with overhanging upper storeys, which are abundant in the context. The use of timber for cladding is, also, meant to refer to the history of the site which used to hold a wood market.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

“Our design strategy is to make the volume in aggregation; stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture,” explained the designers. “Stacked boxes at the street level are read in the scale of surrounding houses and it grows taller towards the center of the museum to stand in the urbanscape that announces itself as a new cultural landmark of the area.”

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

The stacked boxes vary in height and direction to create a varied range of exhibition and gallery spaces, suiting the various natures of the displayed work. The more intimate artworks will be exhibited in the smaller boxed spaces at the higher levels. A central sky-lit atrium will be created from the intersection of four boxes to connect all levels, and the light from the atrium’s skylight will be complimented by the light entering from between the wooden slats which envelope the building.

The museum’s main entrance will be located on the ground level below one of the stacked volumes. It opens to an outdoor area with seating and landscape, and its slightly differing levels are accessible via stairs and ramps. The project is currently under construction, with no date of completion announced yet.

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