Brand New Ottoman-Inspired Odunpazari Modern Museum Has Just Opened Its Doors In Turkey

BY Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / Sep 11 2019 / 15:01 PM

Launching 8 September, the exquisitely designed space has united art collected for over a decade

Brand New Ottoman-Inspired Odunpazari Modern Museum Has Just Opened Its Doors In Turkey
Courtesy of OMM
The exterior of Odunpazari Modern Museum in Eskişehir, Turkey

Situated at the heart of the historic town of Eskişehir in Odunpazarı, Turkey, the newly launched Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM) is home to a collection featuring over a thousand works spanning the 1950s to the present day, with a special focus on Turkish artists.

Founded by art collector and businessman Erol Tabanca, the collection was formed over 15 years with works by pioneering twentieth-century figures as well as contemporary artists by the likes of Turkey-born Burcu Yağcıoğlu and Yağız Özgen. “Positioned at the cross-section between history and modernity, between the East and West, Turkey has produced some of the most interesting art and artists of the last 70 years,” says Tabanca “We hope to draw international attention to Turkish art and artists and reaffirm their position in the canon of modern and contemporary art.”

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. Untitled (2019). 6x8 metres. Courtesy of OMM and the artist

Designed by Tokyo-based architecture firm Kengo Kuma & Associates and comprising three floors, the stacked timber and interlocked box design of the museum reflects traditional Ottoman wooden houses of the district - as well as the town’s name which means 'wood market' in Turkish - paying homage to the town’s rich history.

“One of the most impressive parts of Odunpazarı is the Ottoman style residential areas,” says Yuki Ikeguchi, Partner leading the project. “What makes it very charming is that each house has this very unique configuration, which makes the streetscape very unique and unexpected in a way. That became our inspiration to generate [the OMM] building form.”

On view at OMM are works by several artists including an immersive installation entitled Treehugger (2019) by British art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast and a large 6x8 metre site-specific installation crafted entirely using Tiger Bamboo by Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, depicting the people and culture of the district.

Look out for the winter issue of Harper’s Bazaar Art for more