Odunpazarı Modern Museum opens, awaits visitors
The Odunpazarı Modern Museum, designed with a synthesis of traditional Ottoman and Japanese architecture, opened on Sept. 7.
The museum in the Central Anatolian province of Odunpazarı, which has been inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, covers about a 4,500-meter-square area.
The museum, founded by construction firm Polimeks chairman and collector Erol Tabanca, was designed by the famous Japanese architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates.
Apart from dynamic art exhibitions, the area will be host to many training programs, seminars, meet and greets with celebrities and workshops. It has nine galleries, all in different shapes and sizes, and a terrace for grand sculptures.
Apart from the museum, the area includes a café, a commercial store and workshops.
The square tower at the center of the museum is placed at such an angle that it provides light in all floors of the building, at different intensities, all through the day.
The fundamental aim for these events is to increase cultural development and strengthen the youth’s knowledge in arts and culture. Another target of the museum is to become a cultural platform that will provide exhibition and training opportunities to young artists, from all over the world.
The museum will also embody artistic works in virtual reality, such as works by Marshmallow Laser Feast, a leading digital art collective.
The architectural design of the building also draws attention as it consists of a group of square-shaped blocks that are surrounded by laminated-timber beams stacked on top of each other. The Japanese designer took the historical characteristics of the UNESCO-listed Odunpazarı.
Odunpazarı was inscribed to UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List in 2012. It was a traditional Ottoman neighborhood which is famous for its timber houses from the 19th century. Some of the traditional houses have been restored and been used as cafes.
The building also includes special installation works from prominent Japanese bamboo artist Tanabe Chikuunsai.
“It is well-directed that such a museum is established in Eshişehir,” Erdoğan said during a speech at the inauguration ceremony.
Eskişehir have been a center for many civilizations both in the region and in the world and still has traces from this rich history, Erdoğan added.
The first exhibition of the museum is called “Vuslat,” which has been curated by Haldun Dostoğlu. The exhibition will embody special works from the private collection of Tabanca.
The multifaceted museum will have both local and international aspects, and will become a platform that is to bring strong values and visibility to many forms of art, the founder Polimeks said in a statement on their website.
Apart from being a center for important art works, the museum also aims to contribute to the economy as it is expected to draw visitors both from other provinces of Turkey and overseas.
“I think the museum will increase the charm of the city. I believe it will also enhance the bilateral relations between [Turkey and Japan]. We are countries far from each other in geography but share a common heart,” said Akio Miyajima, the Japanese envoy to Ankara.