A new art museum has opened in Turkey in a building inspired by traditional Ottoman wooden homes. Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM) is located in Eskişehir, a university town in the northwest of Turkey. 

2) OMM by Kengo Kuma and Associates. OMM by Kengo Kuma and Associates_0.jpg
The exterior of the new museum © OMM by Kengo Kuma and Associates / NAARO

 The museum was designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates, the Japanese architecture firm that was also behind the lauded new V&A Dundee museum in Scotland, which opened in late 2018.

The founder of the new museum is Erol Tabanca, a Turkish art collector and businessman. After collecting art for around 15 years, the museum will be an opportunity to share the works of modern and contemporary art, spanning from the 1950s to the present day, with the public.  

1) OMM by Kengo Kuma and Associates. ©NAARO_0.jpg
The exterior of the museum © NAARO / OMM by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The eye-catching building is likely to also attract attention, as the three-floor building has a variety of exhibition spaces and a sky-lit atrium for natural light. According to a press release, the stacked timber design takes it inspiration from “Odunpazari’s traditional Ottoman wooden cantilevered houses that are synonymous with the district, and pays homage to the town’s history as a thriving wood market”.

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The lobby of the hotel, the OMM INN.

The museum is also home a hotel called the OMM INN that might make it an appealing stop for travellers, as Eskişehir is on the high-speed train line between Istanbul and Ankara.

The first exhibition will showcase about 200 works by 60 leading artists from Turkey. It will also feature a new site-specific piece Japanese bamboo artist, Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. The museum’s curator,  Haldun Dostoğlu, notes that this will allow for Tabanca’s incredible art collection to be showcased to the public. Many of the pieces are the work of acclaimed Turkish artists, with additional pieces by international talent.  In addition to art exhibitions, the museum will also hold public programs with seminars, artist talks and workshops.

This story was originally published on 18 March, 2019 and updated on 12 September, 2019. 

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