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İstanbul Museum of Contemporary Art

ARCHITECT: Emre Arolat

Transformation of an existing antrepot building into a contemporary art museum is a progressive step for going public of the customs port area in Karaköy which has been a segregated area in the heart of İstanbul with no public access since its construction in 1960. The museum is planned to house 15.000 art pieces including the most important examples of Turkish painting since late Ottoman to modern period.

Besides its being “a constructive element for modern Turkish architecture” for Sedad Hakki Eldem (a renowned Turkish architect who also is the designer of the building), the structural grid exposed outside the facade has been the most prominent element of the antrepot buildings in urban memory. When transforming the antrepot building into a museum, the reinforced concrete structure is kept as it is, while the walls and slabs are removed in order to obtain a 3D, naked structural grid which will house the ‘containers’ of the new museum. Directed by a curatorial approach, the art objects are to be categorised and collected inside these containers. Overhanging outside the grid in a lively manner, the containers are linked with a network of ramps and bridges. Visitors are going to circulate on this route, having glimpses on the Istanbul view provided by the transparent facade outside the structure.

Visitors enter the museum through a spacious hall enhanced with commercial units, workshop rooms and public facilities. Media-mesh on the back wall of the museum rejuvenates the facade facing the busy road, acting as an interface between the new museum and the city.

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