Shimmering modern art museum riffs on Istanbul's maritime roots
Renowned Italian starchitect Renzo Piano's firm recently completed a new energy efficient museum on the waterfront in Istanbul, Turkey. The building features a complex structural system that mitigates earthquake damage and it responds to the waterfront site with an eye-catching aluminum and glass exterior that references the city's maritime history.
Istanbul Modern is located in the city's historic Karaköy district, where the famous Bosphorus and Golden Horn meet, which informed the overall design – even if you might have to use some imagination to see a strong resemblance to a ship, or fish scales, for that matter.
"The design of the building, Renzo Piano's first project in Türkiye, was inspired by the glittering waters of the Bosphorus and its reflections of light," explained the museum's press release. "Echoing the history of a site that has been used as a harbor for millennia, the outline of the building evokes ships of different sizes traveling back and forth between Europe and Asia as well as a creature of the sea that has leapt from the Bosphorus on the shore. The facade is made by a sequence of 3D-formed aluminum panels that play with the changing sunlight, creating a shimmering, iridescent envelope evocative of fish scales."
The design called for a transparent glass facade on the ground floor, which was a challenge given the local seismic activity. Engineering expert Arup developed a composite frame system with steel cross bracings that ensure structural stability, allowing for the glazing, plus relatively thin concrete interior columns that measure 60 cm (23 inches) in diameter.
It measures 10,500 sq m (113,000 sq ft) and hosts an extensive art collection dating from 1945 to the present. The ground floor contains photo and pop-up galleries, multipurpose rooms and staff offices, as well as a restaurant and terrace with excellent views of the Bosphorus. The second floor, meanwhile, has permanent and temporary art galleries.
Elsewhere, there's a 156-seat auditorium for film programs and interdisciplinary events. The rooftop hosts a viewing terrace and a shallow reflection pool that covers much of the available roof space.
The project is slated for the LEED Gold green building standard and sports triple-glazed windows and solar panels which reduce its draw on the grid, as well as energy efficient heating and cooling systems.
Istanbul Modern has now officially opened to the public and is part of a larger ongoing regeneration of the dock area that will involve the construction of a new cruise ship terminal.
Sources: RPBW, Istanbul Modern, Arup
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.