This proposal for the Serlachius Museum Extension in Mänttä, Finland was submitted by XML. The omnipresent landscape provoked the architects to develop a scheme that became a median between the external world of nature and the internal world of art. More information and images on this project after the break.
The required program has been distributed along a continuous route that connects different programmatic clusters such as galleries, storage, restaurant and office. The circulation between these clusters is bent into a circle allowing for two experiential conditions: on the inside of the circle a series of enclosed exhibition spaces allows visitors to focus on the experience of art whereas on the outside of the circle the continuous route that connects the programmatic clusters allows for alternating these intimate experiences with views on the surrounding nature.
The irregular residual space between the programmatic boxes is turned into a Gallery Garden, continuing the tradition of landscape architecture that is part of the museum’s history. As a result, the floor area of the Museum is extended during summer, an idea that could reach as far as reconceptualizing the museum’s identity into a twofold ‘Wintermuseum’ and ‘Summermuseum’ that host programs of different types. In contrast to the vastness of the surrounding landscape, this contained garden can be used to exhibit the sculpture collection of the museum but also as event space, accommodating lectures, interview-marathons or outside screenings and art-picnics. As an utopic garden at the heart of the museum, the Gallery Garden could become a platform to experiment with unexpected relations between art and nature.
Each of the requested gallery spaces is organized in separate rooms to create a maximum of curatorial freedom. The different galleries could be used together to host one exhibition, but also separated or in arrangements with the existing gallery space in Joenniemi Manor. The art handling and storage facilities are combined in a programmatic cluster near the exhibition spaces for reasons of efficiency. However, this arrangement also allows curators to include the museums archive into exhibitions offering the possibility to experiment with new curatorial models and modes of displaying art.
In the same way as the programmatic clusters at the ring’s interior, the existing museum is connected at a single point to the continuous museum route. Like a diamond in a ring of gold, the Joenniemi Manor – as the only architectural volume on the outside of the ring – is re-contextualized as the jewel of the museum’s expansion. Rather than provoking an opposition between nature and art – the continuous museum route is sequencing both conditions to exist in their own right. The continuous route is not only organizing the museums’ programme, but it also mediates between two worlds that ultimately meet in the experience of the museum’s visitor. Architect: XML Architecture Research Urbanism Location: Mänttä, Finland Program: Museum (expansion): galleries, office, archive facilities, restaurant Area: 15000 m2 Year : 2011 Client: Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation Status: Competition