Curators: Aybala Yentürk, Nejat Yentürk
Landscape Design: Enise Derinboğaz, Praxis Landscape
İzmir Museum aims to bring a new cultural focal point and public space to the Karşıyaka district in İzmir, with a design approach that weaves together the fabric of the surrounding area. The building is designed with contextually sensitive qualities that negotiate between the neighborhood scale and the urban scale, aiming to play an important role in the reconstruction of the district and the wider city.
Located on the border of Karşıyaka District, which is separated from the neighbouring Bayraklı District by the main artery of the city, the museum is designed to act as a gateway that connects the two neighborhoods. Circulation forms the heart of the design, aiming to create a steady horizontal flow through the museum with the extended ramps that traverse the small footprint and ease the visitors’ journey through the exhibitions.
The building is carried by vertical reinforced concrete curtain core walls and a steel structural system that is integrated with the cores. Diagonal steel columns rising from the ground to the first gallery floor carry both the ramps and the lattice structure of the top volume. In this way, the building is detached from the ground, freeing up an open public space at ground level.
A white, perforated metal mesh is chosen for the facade material, giving the building a lightweight, open and translucent feel. This permeability allows the dynamic flow of the ramps to be read more clearly in the facade, defining the building in relation to the movement of visitors.
The residential area to the north of the museum is currently disconnected from the area to the south, divided by the main urban artery and the difference in ground levels. The museum, by bridging the elevation difference between the south and north within the design of the building and landscape, aims to create a permeable and active public space connecting the two sides.
Ramps wrap around the building forming the exterior façade of the museum mass, a strategy conceived of as ‘augmenting the ground’, whilst establishing a visual relationship with the surrounding context at different height levels. The ramps, creating a continuity of public space within the building and forming an inner street, are designed to include exhibition areas as part of the main architectural journey. The spiral inner street defines the exhibition route, whose flow of movement can be read in the mass of the building.
Opening Windows to the City
The exhibition route begins from the top floor of the building and guides the visitor slowly down, traversing the inner street towards ground level. Meanwhile, viewpoints are offered along the way with windows opening to the city and inviting guests to pause at these intermediate levels. The windows, which give panoramic angles to the city, allow daylight to fill the inner street by creating openings in the massive structure that open the museum up to face outwards. These windows create cross-sectional images that define the museum’s urban relationships, and allow the city to become a part of the exhibition.
Karşıyaka Architecture Center
Karşıyaka Museum proposes an Architecture Center program, aiming to create a participatory setting where future-oriented urban strategies are discussed and exhibited. While the main exhibition tells the history of the city, a two-storey space is designed at the entrance of the museum to host the architectural center, a space dedicated to imagining the future of the city.