Designs unveiled for
Museum of Troy


News: Turkish firm Yalın Mimarlık has won a competition to design an archaeological museum on the site of the ancient city of Troy in north-west Turkey (+ movie).

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism selected a team from Yalın Mimarlık led by Ömer Selçuk Baz for the project at the UNESCO World Heritage site in the province of Çanakkale.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

First excavated in 1870, Troy is famous for the mythical siege narrated in Homer's Iliad, and the extensive remains discovered at the site reveal the earliest contact made between the civilisations of Asia and the Mediterranean.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

The museum will take the form of a large cube clad in Corten steel panels, accessed via a ramp leading underground.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

From the subterranean level, visitors will be able to walk up ramps leading through the exhibition spaces to a rooftop terrace.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

The programme also includes conservation laboratories and storage space for the collection, which includes ancient artefacts dating back some 3000 years, as well as activity areas, a shop and a cafe and restaurant.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

Last year Dezeen was in Turkey for the Istanbul Design Biennial, where organiser Bülent Eczacıbaşı said his country needed better design for its cities and products – see all stories from the Istanbul Design Biennial.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

Other projects in Turkey we've featured include a seaside temple made from chunky chipboard and a proposal for a swimming pool under an inverted dome – see all Turkish architecture.

Images and movie are by Cihan Poçan.

Here's some more information from the architects:

Omer Selcuk Baz and his team in Yalin Architectural Design has won first prize in the National Architectural Design Competition for the Museum of Troy, one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, listed as UNESCO World heritage site. With a history of 5000 years and a significance for the development of European Civilization, Troy represents artistically and historically a profound cultural influence from the time of Homer to the World War I.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, the organiser of the competition expropriated 10 hectares for the purpose. The museum is planned to be constructed close to the archaeological site, adjacent to the village of Tevfikiye in Canakkale. It will conserve and exhibit the artifacts unearthed at the site. The museum contains conservation and restoration labs, 2000 sq m of storage, permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, activity areas, café, restaurants and retail facilities as well as access to natural environment.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

The competition, which was opened in January 2011, received 132 project submissions. Some major architectural firms from Turkey were to be found among them. The jury, composed of prominent names such as Cengiz Bektas, Han Tumertekin, Murat Tabanlioglu, Ayten Savas and Ali Ihsan Unay, convened between 27-29 May 2011 in Ankara. The results were announced on 31 May.

The approach of the winning project by Omer Selcuk Baz sets the design concept upon communicating the visitors a world beyond their perception, with roots and stories in history. The design concept gradually disconnects the visitors in part or completely at certain thresholds from the physical context to reconnect them again. The cubic form of the building is reminiscent of an excavated artefact.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

About the building

The design concept must engage in a situation beyond the physical context of the environment. It must look back at a civilisation that lived a while in history, and it must generate a feeling beyond the physical structure. At this point, the preferred approach to design is to segregate the visitors gradually at certain thresholds and to integrate them again. To disconnect the visitors partly or totally from the physical context and then reconnect them.

The design gathers all supportive functions underground on one floor. This floor is not recognised from the ground level and is concealed under a landscape. The exhibition structure is perceived as a robust object on a 32 x 32 metre square plan rising through a split from underground. The visitors descend into the structure along a 12 metre wide ramp. While descending, they come near to the structure in the horizon. Landscape and earth disappear gradually, leaving solely the sky and the structure behind.

Designs unveiled for Museum of Troy

Once underground, the visitors find themselves on a circulation band. A rust red earth-coloured exhibition structure rises through the transparent roof. The rusty metal (Corten) coated structure is timeworn and, just like the broken ceramics unearthed from the excavation site nearby, it recalls a lived history. The history of the material and the architectural design evokes a connection between past and present.

Ascending through the ramps towards the top, one gets a view of the landscape, the fields and the ruins of Troy through the slits on the facades. The rooftop enjoys a generous terrace with a splendid view where one imagines Troy's distant and near history, the memories of the land and its future ahead.

Architects: Yalin Architecture Design
Location: Troy, Canakkale
Architectural Design: Ömer Selçuk Baz, Okan Bal, Ozan Elter, Ece Özdür, Melek Kılınç, Sezi Zaman, Ege Battal, Lebriz Atan
Exhibition: Deniz Unsal, Lebriz Atan, Ece Özdür
Illustrations and Animations: Cihan Poçan

  • baes

    Ok, it is a cube and it is generic! But its existence in the landscape is so similar to the EDF archives! What a coincidence? Funny games.

  • Malcolm Lodwick

    Cautionary/technical note: Corten steel drips as it rusts and will create nasty deposits on the glass below unless sincere measures are taken to divert that rusty water away from the glass.

  • Teoman

    Thanks Dezeen. A couple of drawings would be really helpful as well – at least a section through the main volume.

  • Massimo

    C’mon! They don’t deserve another shoe box! That’s too sad. That’s a place that literature described as full of pathos and struggle, where men challenged gods, where proud heroes fought clever wizards. Those architects lost their braveness on the battlefield!

  • calvert

    I find the way they’ve begun to reference the archaeological nature of the location through the prominent ramps interesting. Hisarlik is quite the historical site, with city after city built on top of each other, century after century. It’s like a layer cake of history!

    • Schliemann

      Your choice of the fork is interesting, but can you escape it?

      Small wonder that Trojans and Achaeans should endure so much and so long for the sake of a building so marvellous. Imagine walls, hundreds of metres around and dozens of metres thick – Genghis Khan or Attila would shiver if they had come across such fantastical elements of human civilization!

  • nino

    You can find more drawings and sections if you search for it online – there were some websites where the architects posted them.