New Cultural Landmark of Eskişehir
Odunpazarı Modern Museum is to exhibit the owner’s (Erol Tabanca) collection of modern and contemporary art. The Museum is planned in the city of Eskişehir where the owner was born and raised. The project is to realize the owner’s ambition to promote Turkish art and to make a cultural contribution to the city of Eskişehir. Eskişehir is known as a university town where the young population is large and the city has a lively and active atmosphere. The OMM building was designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA), a Japanese architectural office renowned for its sustainable approach.
KKAA defines their philosophy as blending nature with architecture in such a way that there is a strong link between ‘building’ and ‘location’. The architecture office, which carries out projects that make a difference in many parts of the world, is known for using as little concrete as possible and concentrating on natural materials such as wood, stone and paper. In the OMM project, with references
to Odunpazarı civil architecture, Ottoman dome architecture and Japanese traditional architecture, KKAA’s contemporary design is based on four main elements: geometry, light, aggregation and timber.
The building draws inspiration from conversion of simple geometric lines to complex images, qualified light filtered into the space, architectural aggregation that breaks mediocrity with forms that do not follow a single line and the wooden structure system, which refers to the historical texture of Odunpazarı.
The site is in the area called Odunpazarı. It is situated at the threshold of a newly developed urban area and small-scale town scape of traditional Ottoman wooden houses. These wooden houses, with cantilevered volume at upper level, were built in lines along the meandering small streets that makes the streetscape and walk through experience quite unique and unexpected.
The aim is to reflect this streetscape quality into the new architectural design of the museum that stands on the urban scale. The design strategy is to make the volume in aggregation; stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture. 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 on the urbanscape that announces itself as a new cultural landmark of the area.
The stacked and interlocked boxes are designed in various sizes to create diverse scales of exhibition space inside. Boxes at the ground level offer opportunities for large scale artworks and installation. The boxes get smaller at upper levels to exhibit smaller, intimate scale artworks. The central atrium, composed with timber blocks, connects each level to let the natural light through the skylight above.
The name of this area “Odunpazarı” means “wood market” in Turkish. The exterior envelope of the museum is composed of timber in full extent signifying the history and memory of the place that used to function as a market in trading wood. Along with several other city museums in the surrounding area, OMM aims to create a museum square and public meeting place in the town.