The world-renowned architects of Kengo Kuma and Associates have just unveiled a stunning museum in Turkey. Located in Eskisehir, the Odunpazari Modern Museum features several stacked timber boxes that seemingly rise out of the ground at various angles, paying homage to the city’s Ottoman heritage.

staggered timber building

Featuring a design led by Kengo Kuma partner Yuki Ikeguchi, the new 48,400-square-foot museum is a light-filled, multilevel space that holds a collection of 1,000 pieces of contemporary art. Although the artworks inside the museum are decidedly modern, the building’s design was heavily influenced by the city’s history.

Related: Kengo Kuma suspends a cocoon-like timber dwelling for minimal site impact

large interior atrium inside museum

According to Kengo Kuma and Associates, the timber and stacked volumes of the Odunpazari Modern Museum were implemented into the design to reconnect the area with its heritage. For example, the word “Odunpazari” means “wood market” in Turkish. Using bold, square-edged timber logs as the building’s principle construction material pays homage to the region’s long history of wood trading.

timber atrium in a museum

In addition to its timber materials, which feature strongly on the exterior and throughout the interior, the museum’s volume is also a nod to the city’s Ottoman history. Most of the homes in the city that date back to the Ottoman empire were built with an upper level cantilevering over a base.

large bamboo art installation in museum

Using this design as inspiration, the museum features several stacked boxes that cantilever out over the ground floor base at various angles. Inside the museum, these interlocked boxes create distinct spaces of varying sizes. The larger exhibition rooms on the bottom floor house large-scale art works and installations, while the smaller boxes at the upper levels exhibit smaller artworks.

large bamboo art installation in museum

A reception area and atrium are found in the middle of the museum. Clad in timber slats, a massive, central skylight leads up through the floors, welcoming natural light into the interiors of each level.

+ Kengo Kuma

+ Odunpazari Modern Museum

Images via Kengo Kuma and Associates

timber tunnel framing a skylight