Orsta Gallery / Claesson Koivisto Rune

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Architects: Claesson Koivisto Rune
Location: Kumla,
Project team: Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto, Ola Rune, Deta Gemzell, Kumi Nakagaki, Jaime Montes
Client: Birgitta and Anders Fasth
Total floor area: 350 sqm
Project Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: Mikael Pauli, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Peter Mabeo

A gallery for modern art, placed in a field. The whole gallery building shines like a traffic sign, when seen from a certain angle.

The gallery building

The new gallery building creates a ‘hamlet’ with the adjacent old farmhouses and the owners’ house, together representing three centuries of building tradition. Positioned on top of an artificial hill, as a buffer to the site’s moist soil, the base of the building follows the hill’s topology. The resulting series of curves at the building’s base, combined with mirroring curves in the rooflines, makes the planar facades seem curved – a bit like ‘cinemascope’ screens.

© Claesson Koivisto Rune
site plan

The exterior facades

The facades have been painted white and, while still wet, three tons of special reflective glass beads were applied. The glass bead treatment, developed by artist Mikael Pauli, works in a similar way to the reflective component in zebra crossings. If viewed from the same angle as the incident light source, it glows as if lit from within. So, when driving by the building, it appears to flash brightly for a moment.

façade effect principle

This effect can also be recreated during night. If the building falls into the path of car headlights or, as in the attached photos, where two 150 watt lamps – one red, one blue coloured – light the façade from different angles. (We would like to stress that the images have NOT been adjusted via Photoshop or other image manipulation programs – except inbuilt camera software).

© Claesson Koivisto Rune

The relatively narrow door and window openings, stretching from ground to roofline, make the building’s scale difficult to judge. Appearing smaller at a distance, yet up close it rises to a height of 6.7 metres. Their positions correlate to interior wall positions as well as windows on the opposite side of the building, creating sight lines from one side to the other.

The interior

The elevated position of the gallery building raises the floor level to the same height as the tops of the surrounding crop growth. The interior is divided in to four differently sized rooms connected with both central cross access and complete side circulation.

© Peter Mabeo

Custom designed benches, manufactured in Botswana by Mabeo Furniture, have been added to the rooms recently.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Orsta Gallery / Claesson Koivisto Rune" 19 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=78052>
  • reemaa

    i guess ideas aren’t unique, check out Sports Hall for the University of life Sciences in Estonia by Salto architects:
    http://www.salto.ee/

    photo: http://www.ehitaja.ee/images/content/big/542.jpg

    • E.K.

      Please study this project a bit closer. The facades are NOT curved at all, like in the Estonian project. It is in fact a box in plan.

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    Nice! I like the simplisity of this project… These a little bit banded walls are very expressive really…

  • Jan Ruccola

    Looks cheap