We wanted the building to carry the history and memory of the town.
– Kengo Kuma
The Kengo Kuma-designed Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM) is slated to launch in Eskisehir, Turkey – the former "Turkic World" capital of culture – in June.
The 4,500 sq m museum, which takes its cantilevered, stacked appearance from the town's Ottoman-era houses and traditional wood market, will unfold over three floors and comprise exhibition galleries, workshop areas, event spaces, a cafe, and a shop.
Founded by Turkish billionaire and art aficionado Erol Tabanca, the attraction – the region's first modern art museum – will house his personal collection of post-1950s art, which he acquired over the course of 15 years.
"OMM will stand as a new landmark that reconnects the town with its history, and as a progressive cultural development for Eskisehir and the Central Anatolian region at large," Tabanca commented.
Tabanca's company, Polimeks Construction served as the site's building contractor.
"OMM believes art can go beyond the metropolises of the world and give a new lease of life to cities that make a difference with their cultural texture," explained the firm in a description from its website.
Speaking on the project, Kengo Kuma and Yuki Ikeguchi – the lead architect for the museum – 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, which passing through is a special experience in itself.
"We very much look forward to seeing the public enjoy and interact with the building."
OMM's inaugural exhibition is set to feature a commissioned sculpture by Japanese bamboo artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, as well as over 200 works by 60 different artists, including Stephan Kaluza, Hans Op De Beeck, Massimo Giannoni, Taner Ceylan, and Canan Tolon.