Champagne corks will be popping in Clerkenwell. Last week Arch Daily announced that the English architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has bagged Istanbul's most prestigous ever museum project: the Vehbi Koç Foundation has selected the international architects Grimshaw to design their long-awaited contemporary art museum in Istanbul. This is the Foundation's latest attempt to develop Turkey's contemporary art world – in which they have been vigorously involved since 2007. Expected to open in 2016, the museum will occupy the once far-from-salubrious Dolapdere valley, below the back streets of Beyoğlu, an area better known until recently for its tripe soup shop and Roma quarters.
Using the mosaic tiled forms of traditional Ottoman architecture as inspiration for the design (shades of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris which was completed in 1987), the shining new block will house the ever-growing Koç collection of modern art, which the foundation started in 2007. With its old(er) siblings, TANAS (which opened in 2008 in Berlin) and Arter (which opened in 2010 in Istanbul, also in Beyoğlu), this new project will dwarf anything attempted so far and is indeed very exciting news for modern art – and artists – in Turkey.