Fuglsang Kunstmuseum is a purpose built regional art museum designed by Tony Fretton Architects to house the Storstrøm Art Museum’s permanent collection of Danish fine art dating from the period 1780-1980. The 2,500 sqm building also houses new galleries for temporary exhibitions, a shop, a café, a learning centre, administration spaces and storage for the museum’s large collection of painting and sculpture.
Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: Lolland, Denmark
Landscape Architect: Torben Schønherr Landscape
Structural Engineer: Birch & Krogboe A/S Consulting Engineers
Executive Architect: BBP ARKITEKTER A/S
Project Area: 2,500 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Helene Binet
Unlike the location of an urban museum that is reached through the room-like spaces of a city, to go to Fuglsang entails a long journey through open countryside, where the landscape and sea take on immense significance, finally arriving on a long straight road through a loose assembly of buildings to a courtyard at the heart of the Estate.
The new museum is a low-rise building, which sits discreetly within a loose assembly of rural buildings. Like the red barn and the forge in the surrounding countryside, the Museum extends into the fields while having a strange axial but offset relation to the most significant of the buildings, the Manor House and its formal surroundings. Connection between the two buildings is further established by the profile of the museum with its arrangement of three diagonal roof lights, which relate to the three gables in the façade of the Manor House.
Like the buildings around the courtyard, and many classic works of Danish modernism, the facades of the Museum are constructed from brick. As in the barn on the west side of the court, they are painted white and the roof lights are in a grey brick to match the colour of the roofs of the buildings around it.
A canopy of painted metal in the form of an open sided cube, low and wide, provides shelter from the rain, and is matched by a glass wind lobby of equal scale and transparency in the entrance foyer within the building.
One end of the foyer is arranged as a café, the other as a bookshop and reception area, both of which look out through extensive windows to the courtyard on one side and the other into a public art studio and beautiful existing garden behind it. A glass door in the reception area shows the way to the library and offices on the first floor, and other doors indicate the lecture hall, toilets and place to hang your coat.
The foyer is a public place in which everything is where it can be found and enjoyed in the company of friends and strangers within the landscape and spaces of Fuglsang. From within it there is a line of sight to the long central gallery of the Museum. The galleries are very different in scale and character from the public space of the foyer and are places into which groups of visitors can spread out and immerse themselves in the collection. At the end of the central gallery is a fully glazed room offering views of the sea and landscape, which is intended as a place to rest and reflect.