Founded by art collector and businessman Erol Tabanca, the Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM), a major new museum and distinctive architectural landmark by Kengo Kuma and Associates, opened in September 2019. Situated in Eskisehir, a university city and Anatolia’s capital of culture, the 4,500 square meter landmark introduces an innovative design and a dynamic lineup of multidisciplinary exhibitions and diverse public programming.
OMM’s innovative design, by the acclaimed Japanese architects behind the new V&A Dundee in the UK, provides a bright and spacious new home for the 1,000-piece collection of modern and contemporary art housed inside the museum. With its stacked timber design, inspired by the surrounding streetscape of Odunpazari and its history as a timber trading market, the museum stands as a new landmark that reconnects the town with its heritage, and as a progressive cultural development for Eskişehir and the Central Anatolia region at large.
“Today’s opening marks the culmination of a visionary process for everyone involved. We are delighted to reveal this unique building, the collection and our exciting inaugural presentations to the community here in my hometown of Eskisehir and to visitors from around the world,” said Erol Tabanca, Founder of OMM. “We want to bring the international art world here, and we want to bring young artists from the region together with international artists.”
Odunpazari, which means firewood market in Turkish, used to be a center for timber trading and Kengo Kuma and Associates took this history as the basis for the design. The region and its famed timber trading market inspired the stacked timber design of the museum. Blending in the surrounding context of traditional Ottoman wooden houses, and reconnecting with the heritage of Odunpazari, the OMM generates a bridge for cultural exchange and development in the Central Anatolia region.