The museum occupies two separate buildings of charming 19th century wooden villas. The original building is a three-story plus an attic wooden mansion and whose architecture was inspired by European vernacular traditions. The building, constructed of wood and lathe-and-plaster on a masonry foundation, was known as the "Azeryan Yalısı".
The building was purchased by the Koç family in 1950, and was used by them as a summerhouse until the decision to convert it into a museum was taken in 1978. The conversion into a museum was carried out between 1978 and 1980 according to a restoration project that had been prepared by Sedat Hakkı Eldem. It opened its doors to the public on October 14, 1980 with the Sadberk Koç collection on display.