Istanbul Modern, Türkiye’s first museum of modern and contemporary art, inaugurated its new museum building designed by RPBW, today with a press conference attended by architect Renzo Piano and Oya Eczacıbaşı, the Chair of the Board of the museum.
Istanbul Modern opened its doors to the local community in the new building, situated at the museum’s original location on the Karaköy waterfront, one of Istanbul’s most historical districts where the Bosphorus and Golden Horn meet, on May 4, 2023.
The building – Renzo Piano’s first project in Türkiye – was inspired by the glittering waters of the Bosphorus, echoing the history of the site that has been used as a harbor for millennia, with a transparent ground floor offering views to the waterfront promenade and façade made from 3-D-formed aluminum panels that play with the changing sunlight. A one-of-a-kind viewing terrace at the top of the building hovers above a shallow reflection pool covering the roof, providing a 360-degree view of the Bosphorus and the city.
Renzo Piano, architect of the building, said: “This museum building is like a creature of the sea, that has just jumped out from the water of the Bosphorus. We wanted to make a building to defy gravity and levitate above the ground, creating transparency with views towards the sea on one side and on the other the park and the medieval district of Galata. If you build a suspended space, where there is nothing obstructing the gaze, you get one of the strong elements of the project: the multiple planes. On the ground floor, the pillars give you a sense of depth, like tree trunks in a forest. And then going up you have the first, second, third, fourth floors, and to the south you have the plane of infinity, of light, while to the north you find the park and the city. The gaze never ceases to superimpose one plane on another. This is what a city is composed of: the complexity, the sequence of buildings, streets and spaces that follow one another, creating a panorama of multiple planes.”
Renzo Piano Building Workshop,
in collaboration with Arup (Türkiye) architects
E. Baglietto, F. Giacobello (partner and associate in charge), R. Dunphy
with M. Cecchetto, E. Doyduk, M. Tokarnia, R. Wong and M. Yildirim;
B. Pignatti, A. Pizzolato, C. Zaccaria (CGI);
M. Abidos, F. Cappellini, D. Lange, F. Terranova (models)
CONSULTANTS: Arup (structure, MEP, lighting), JML (water feature), 2x4 (signage)