Istanbul’s ancient shoreline gets ultramodern museum

Published June 21, 2023
VISITORS explore a gallery at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum after its reopening in a new building on Tuesday.—AFP
VISITORS explore a gallery at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum after its reopening in a new building on Tuesday.—AFP

ISTANBUL: Istanbul’s museum of modern art moved on Tuesday into a futuristic building overlooking the Bosphorus Strait designed by the Italian-born architect of London’s Shard skyscraper and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The museum’s return to its old but reinvented location marks the latest attempt by Turkiye’s cultural capital to infuse its iconic waterfront — lined with graceful imperial palaces and mosques — with a more futuristic feel.

Established in 2004, the Istanbul Modern in 2018 moved out of a rustic building that once served as a customs warehouse.

The city then launched a massive regeneration project that rebuilt a long stretch of the European side of the Bosphorus shoreline, making it more accessible to both Istanbulites and cruise ships that again clutter the busy strait.

The museum’s new three-storey reflective steel building, featuring a transparent ground floor made of reinforced glass, is connected to the new Galata Port — a sleek amalgam of restaurants, bars and retail stores overlooking a waterfront boardwalk.

Its design was inspired by the glittering waters and light reflections of the Bosphorus, architect Renzo Piano told reporters.

“This museum building is like a creature of the sea that has jumped out from the waters of the Bosphorus,” said Piano, whose other works include the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

“Every time you have water, it is great to make a building because water makes things beautiful,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
17 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

THERE was a time not too long ago when the faces we see sitting in government today would cry themselves hoarse over...
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
17 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

IT is no secret that visa applications to the UK and Schengen countries come at a high cost. But recent published...
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...