OMM Odunpazarí Museum of Modern Art Eskişehir, TR

Open to new perspectives

Tradition and transparency are not mutually exclusive – as is demonstrated by this spectacular new museum in Eskişehir, Turkey. Behind the cladding made from solid square-edged timber, a glazed façade provides heat insulation and fire protection.

A world away from the cosmopolitan capitals we would usually associate with modern art, lies the city of Eskişehir, where a spectacular new museum building is making its mark on the Anatolian landscape. The city’s striking new landmark is characterised by an ensemble of eleven square-edged timber cubes, all nested inside one another.
The Japanese architects Kengo Kuma and Partners see their design for the Odunpazarí Museum of Modern Art as an homage to the region, where there is a centuries- old tradition of woodwork and wood trading. The museum is named after its location on the former wood market in Eskişehir (Odunpazarí), around which the museum district is growing.

New perspectives

The university city of Eskişehir is already home to numerous museums; including an archaeological museum, a glass and ceramics museum, and a museum of technology. Nothing unusual there. And then comes the Odunpazarí Museum of Modern Art, adding a whole dimension to the district. The new gallery houses an collection of modern art with great international significance, and includes exhibits dating from the 1950s to the present day.

It was put together by architect and building contractor Erol Tabanca, whose initiative is also responsible for the new museum building in the heart of the old town. The aim of this self-confessed patron of the arts is to challenge people with new perspectives, and – at least as far as the architecture of the new building is concerned – he has achieved just that. With its sensational architecture, the city is no doubt hoping to cultivate a sort of “Bilbao effect” in Eskişehir – using cultural tourism to generate an economic upswing. Opened to the public on 28 September 2019, the Odunpazarí Museum of Modern Art boasts a multitude of exhibition rooms, with three whole floors of diverse artworks for visitors to explore. The topography of the site, which has a height difference of several metres, led to a design that includes two entrances. The main entrance, with the foyer and reception area, is on the lowest level. A second entrance is located one level above that on the plaza, where visitors are also attracted by the museum café. On this level and the two floors above is where you find the permanent exhibition rooms, as well as events and office space. The atrium, which extends across all levels, not only brings daylight into the interior of the building, but also provides visitors with an infinite variety of perspectives on the exhibition.

Extra-high VISS façade pivoting door

When it came to implementing the huge glass façades in the entrance areas and to the terraces, the architects chose the VISS profile system VISS steelfrom Jansen. VISS offers highly thermally insulated façade constructions with ‘Passivhaus’ energy efficiency certification, which is an absolutely must with regard to the harsh Anatolian winters. The post and mullion construction with double-insulated glass (10/16/66.2 millimetres) has an insulation value of 1.4 W/m2K. The 39 millimetre-thick, 1600 x 3100 millimetre panes are held in place with profiles that are extremely slim by comparison. Here, the architects opted for Jansen VISS with a face width of just 50 millimetres. The VISS façade pivoting door in the main entrance on the bottom floor is a bespoke construction designed especially for this building. With a height of 4415 millimetres, two panels measuring 2140 millimetres each and a forend width of just 140 millimetres, it continues the generous contour of the VISS façade in the entrance area.
The VISS façade pivoting doors of the main entrance on the bottom floor are almost 4.50 m high. The bespoke design is continued with the generous contour of the VISS façade in the entrance area.

First-class fire protection

It goes without saying that, with such an excessive use of wood, the architects needed to pay particular attention to the issue of fire proofing. What sets Jansen apart when it comes to fire safety is that its solutions allow for complete façades, including doors and entrance areas, can be implemented as one cohesive aspect, despite different sections being subject to different safety requirements. Here, the glass façade between the events space and the terrace had to meet the EI60 fire safety standard. Thanks to the VISS Fire steel profile system, it could be produced in line with the generous grid of the other VISS façades. Moreover, when it came to producing the double- leaf, outward-opening revolving doors, the use of Janisol C4 EI60 with the same profile view and installation depth ensured they blended in visually with the rest of the façade.

Whether it is the spectacular new museum building or the wide-ranging art collection that draws in the crowds, the fact is that around 140,000 art and architecture enthusiasts visited the Odunpazarí Museum of Modern Art of it being open. Unfortunately, the museum also had to close its doors temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the numbers of visitors in the first half of the year leave no doubt that the “Bilbao effect” is working. (AMR)
Façade construction
Steel profile systems
© Proje Çekimi