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Grimshaw scoops Istanbul gallery contest

Grimshaw Architects has seen off 20 ‘world-renowned names’ to win the competition to design the Koç Contemporary, a large new art museum in Istanbul, Turkey

Due to open in 2016, the scheme in the Beyoğlu area is backed by charity the Vehbi Koç Foundation.

The practice is working with engineers Thornton Thomasetti,  Max Fordham, Neill Woodger Acoustics and lighting specialists Jason Bruges.

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The architect’s view

Koç Contemporary is in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul, which is undergoing rapid redevelopment and fast becoming one of the most dynamic districts in Europe. The design will create an extension of this vibrant public realm where the boundary between inside and out is blurred and where passing pedestrians are tempted through exciting public spaces, which are rich in activity and surprise. The creation of Koç Contemporary will result in a landmark building entirely derived from its context with the mosaic tiled forms of traditional Ottoman architecture providing the inspiration for the design’s materials concept.

The Grimshaw-led design will function as a civic icon, visitor attraction, a location for study, as well as a place to conserve, preserve and restore. Resolving the conflicts between the needs of the visitor and the needs of the collection were crucial to the competition-winning scheme. The design embraces the collection in all its diversity; its works on paper, paintings, video, media installations, performance art and music events are integral to the design of the visitor spaces.

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