The Ankara Orchard House located in Koç University’s VEKAM campus was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The Orchard House has been hosting the Semahat and Nusret Arsel Collection since 2007, and it is an important part of the identity of the city of Ankara. Starting in the 17th century, the inhabitants of Ankara spent the spring and summer months in their orchard houses and the fall and winter months in their city houses. As it is traditional in Anatolia, the inhabitants of Ankara differentiated summer and winter life, and they lead a life characteristic to Ankara. The Ankara Orchard House is one of the last remaining original examples of this tradition which was followed until the 1950s.

The building is also known as the Gedikoğlu Orchard House as it was built in 1900 by Ali Gedikoğlu who is Vehbi Koç’s relative by marriage. The Gedikoğlu family used the house until the end of the 1930s, and after Ali Gedikoğlu’s death, the house was handed over to Vehbi Koç. Following the death of Vehbi Koç, his elder daughter, the president of Koç Foundation Semahat Arsel had the house restored to its original condition in 2006, and it started serving as a museum in 2007. The house is registered in the cultural heritage list of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism as a second-degree cultural asset. In terms of architecture, the building is based on a traditional Turkish house plan, featuring a mezzanine above the ground level, and a main living area in the upper level. The house has a central house plan is a middle anteroom house type, and its ground and middle levels were built with andesite, also known as Ankara Stone. With its brick masonry walls set between wooden pillars, the upper floor is similar to that of other houses in the area.

The ground level with kitchen, pantry, and toilet is the service section of the building, and it has no openings to the exterior except for the main entrance door. The wooden ceilings of the middle mezzanine or “winter” level were kept rather low to ensure that rooms are well heated. The slatted wood covered ceilings of the upper level are high, the central hall the anteroom is wide, and its rooms are large.

The Ankara Orchard House which opened in 2007 hosts the Semahat and Nusret Arsel Copper Collection and Pouch Collection, and thanks the Semahat Hanım’s contributions the collection is growing. Specialists from the Istanbul Sadberk Hanım Museum have arranged the rooms of the house with works donated from their collection to illustrate the transition from traditional to modern life. Today, the visitors to the museum can experience interior decoration the inside of the house which is adorned with various objects representing  the daily life in a household. This is the only museum in Ankara which features this sort of displays in a traditional Turkish house.