DE Bodrum Museum defined
by the sum of its parts

A customized design set against the blue waters of the Turkish Aegean Sea

July 11, 2022

Located in the city of Bodrum, and set against the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, the DE Bodrum Museum design was recognized as a WA Award Cycle 40 winner in 2021 as part of the World Architecture Community Awards. Aytac Architects, an award-winning architecture and research practice based in Istanbul, Turkey, proceeded with this custom design gallery for contemporary Turkish artist, Devrim Erbil.

A Mediterranean oasis

Defined by a beautiful garden filled with tangerine trees, the site of the museum is located just minutes away from Erbil’s existing studio in the town of Ortakent. The primary objective of the project is to provide a physical site capable of embracing the vast cerebral horizons of the artist’s diverse works, ranging from oil paintings to carpets, mosaics, stained glass, and more.

“In pondering a variety of typological museum models, we chose to design a project that would be defined by the sum of its many parts, in contrast to a single, monolithic structure,” explains Alper Aytac, Founder and Lead Architect of the firm bearing his name. “We chose to create a series of individual galleries that will be embraced as pieces of the existing city fabric, blending seamlessly into the surrounding landscape of Bodrum’s whitewashed stucco homes.”

A hybrid experience

Each of the galleries stands on separate supports, creating ample space for visitors to roam the grounds of the museum and the cool, shady area of its stunning garden. Amenities will include a temporary exhibition space, a workshop, a café, and a bookshop, essentially becoming a new meeting place in the City of Bodrum. The floating permanent galleries are arranged in a loop, beginning and ending in a museum spiral that connects to the garden level.

“That new condition creates a hybrid space that is neither just a building nor a garden, with a blue mosaic ceiling, suspended above the hybrid space, rhythmically vibrates above the garden and becomes the main façade,” explains Alper Aytac. “And like a branching tree, the lifted structure creates a roof that frames the entire public square, with the fragmented structure organized in a grid that aligns with the tangerine trees and the artist’s studio.”

Design for the natural environment

The two-story, 1,357m² museum sits on a 5,000m² site that includes the artist’s studio. In order to preserve the natural context and identity of the tangerine garden, a majority of the whitewashed stucco-built areas will be constructed using steel frames on concrete slabs, with pillars floating above the ground level.

The elevated design also serves to offset any possible high groundwater due to flooding. Additionally, a single underground structure will be built to collect and store rainwater for use in the hot summer months of the Mediterranean climate. A 32kw/hr solar array will also be installed on a green roof to help reduce the energy required to maintain the museum.

A model of transparency

On the ground level, glass-enclosed public areas sit beneath the white stucco volumes to preserve maximum transparency and minimize impacts on the garden level. That transparency serves to blur the lines between the site’s interior and exterior spaces.  The floating volumes will provide further shade for the garden, surfaced in custom blue mosaic tiles designed in collaboration with the artist.

A spiralling steel wheelchair ramp connects the garden to the museum above, serving as an interface with the artist’s permanent galleries. The ramp gradually becomes enclosed as it reaches the second level, with its southern wall punctured to create rays of light in the celestial birth pattern of the artist. The rest of the museum enclosure will feature north-facing slits to capture natural light.

About Aytac Architects

Founded by Alper Aytaç in Istanbul, Turkey in 2005, Aytaç Architects is an award-winning architecture and research practice focused on developing an architecture that transgresses the normal boundaries of traditional forms and materials. The firm endeavours to produce new interactions with objects/spaces/buildings in order to harness and release its latent creative forces. The firm’s office operates as a laboratory dedicated to rendering space and the built environment more mobile, dynamic, and active.

Using digital and analog design tools, the multi-award-winning office strives to create powerful and clear design solutions that are unique to each project and site, based on a deep analysis of cultural and physical layers. The full-service practice engages in building design, urban design, interiors, and landscape design at all scales. The work of Aytac Architects has been published extensively in prominent architectural and lifestyle publications worldwide.

The DE Bodrum Museum design was recognized as a WA Award Cycle 40 winner in 2021 as part of the World Architecture Community Awards.

DE Bodrum Museum

Aytac Architects
Istanbul, Turkey

Images courtesy of Aytac Architects

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