Kengo Kuma’s “stack of crates” art museum opens in Turkey

The Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM), designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and Associates, has opened in Eskisehir, a university town in northwest Turkey.

From the outside, the three-storey, 4,500 sq m building appears to be a giant heap of stacked crates – a design that was inspired by Odunpazari’s traditional cantilevered houses and Eskisehir’s history as a wood marketplace.

The museum will have an exhibition spaces on the ground floor and smaller rooms on the upper levels to show smaller-scale artworks. There is also an atrium, located in the centre of the museum where the "crates" meet.

OMM was founded by art collector and businessman Erol Tabanca, and will contain 1,000 works of art from 1950s to the present day. The inaugural collection will exhibit 200 works by 60 artists from Turkey.

There will also be a site-specific work commissioned from Japanese artist  Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. This is an installation crafted from woven bamboo that appears to travel from the wall and into the floor.

Yuki Ikeguchi, Kengo, a founder of Kuma and Associates, said​: ​​"We wanted the building to carry the history and memory of the town, to resonate both on a human scale and with the unique streetscape of Odunpazari, passing through which is a special experience in itself. We very much look forward to seeing the public enjoy and interact with the building."

Haldun Dostoglu, OMM’s curator, added: ​"When curating OMM’s inaugural exhibition, I was inspired by three truths: Eskisehir will gain its first modern art museum, Erol Tabanca will fulfil his dream of sharing his art collection with the public, and this wonderful collection – much of which has been behind closed doors for a number of years – will be showcased in its entirety for the first time."

Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

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