Kengo Kuma & Associates recently unveiled plans for a new contemporary art museum in Turkey featuring a striking series of interlocking timber volumes. The Japanese studio is designing the Odunpazari Modern Art Museum for a private client in the university town of Eskishehr. Located in the northwest region of the country, the city is home to a burgeoning population of young adults and boasts a lively cultural scene.
The extravagant use of wood throughout the 38,500-square-foot museum references the site’s former life as a wood market in the city. Horizontal wooden planks mark the façades of the many irregularly stacked boxes that form the museum’s unique shape. This choice of material — a hallmark of Kuma — also complements the surrounding traditional Ottoman homes, which are built using wood and characterized by slim, second-floor overhangs that line the narrow streetscape.
Comprising a complex cluster of boxy structures oriented in different directions, the project accommodates exhibition halls at a variety of scales, as well as further public spaces for visitors within and around the structure.
“Our design strategy is to make the volume in aggregation,” said the studio, “stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture.”
The open-plan volumes set at street level will have room for large-scale installations while the stacked, set-back volumes will house the museum’s permanent collection in galleries tailored in size to the intimate objects they feature.
The volumes increase in height toward the center of the museum where four boxes meet to form a central atrium that connects all levels of the museum. The slatted wood atrium features a large skylight that lets light seep into the lower-level galleries.
Construction is slated for completion in 2019.
Images via Kengo Kuma & Associates