The architectural studio MX_SI based in Barcelona, was recently announced as the winner of the competition for the extension of the Gösta Contemporary Art Museum in Mänttä, Finland. Organized by the Serlachius Foundation and supported by the Architecture Chamber of Finland SAFA, the aim of the competition was to extend the main building that originally was not planned as a museum. This new building will enhance their facilities in order to host large scale contemporary art travelling exhibitions as well as define an appropriate space for their own collection.
This competition has been the largest architectural tender in Finish history with 579 participants from 42 countries. Construction work on the extension will begin in early 2012 and the new spaces will be opened to the public in spring 2014. More images and project description after the break.
According to the jury’s statements,the architecture solution proposed a fine understanding on existing features such as main building, site landscape and finish traditional and contemporary culture. The jury outstands the respect that new construction has with the place, without loosing own up to date architecture expression. Other values read by the jury are the harmony of new volume with landscape. It is an integrated body taking a clever advantage of the use of wood as a main façade material. Interior spaces develop a dialogue with the exterior enriching the expressive journey.
The site is understood as a green plateau where the manor’s monolithic figure stands imposingly along a landscape axis, sloping gently to the banks of Lake Melasjärvi. The strategy consists in placing the building out of the zone in between the manor, the plateau-park and the Taavetinsaari island, in mimicking the new building within the forest, and finally in respecting the recently renovated park, as well as the formal garden design.
The new premises are located in parallel to the access, manor and garden axis, on the west side of the principal axis. It uses the parameters of topography and distance to accommodate the program. In this sense the Joenniemi Manor keeps being the dominant built structure of the area. The location of the new entrance reinforces the existing spacious access yard as access plaza of the whole intervention. The outside spatial quality is brought inside the new building. The heart of the building, the foyer and restaurant, have the best view towards the lake and the island similar to the existing house main areas.
The simple horizontal body of the extension building gathers all main areas in one great plateau: entrance, foyer, connection and exhibitions which facilitates visitors’ orientation. The new building is organized by a spacious foyer, placed at the same level of the ground floor of the manor. This space obtains visual continuity between outside and inside by introducing incisions of landscape to the main building body. To allow flexibility of exhibitions layout, the structure of the building is part of the facade liberating the whole space. All walls in the exhibition zone can be used for exposing.
The project as a densified abstract forest. The forest in the placement where the new building will be constructed is conceptually transformed in an abstract way of parallel frames. In one hand they define the overall geometry of the new building, but at the same time they also allow transversal permeability. The result is that the parallel pattern of the structural frames is maintained from outside and inside structuring the whole building. The use of wood is a reference to the local industry’s history.
Architects: MX_SI Location: Mänttä, Finland Project Team: Marta Partida, Boris Bezan, Hector Mendoza Collaborators: Oscar Espinosa, Olga Bombač Client: Serlachius Foundation Built Surface: 4.500 m2 approx.