The future of Helsinki's contemporary art scene has never been brighter; Amos Anderson Art Museum has announced plans to build a new venue at the heart of the the Finnish city. Designed by local firm JKMM, the New Amos Anderson Art Museum is to be built in and below Lasipalatsi square, a landmark site of Finnish Functionalism.
Built in 1936 and enduring as a Finnish Modernist icon, the Lasipalatsi complex will serve as the entrance to the New Anderson Art Museum, the bulk of whose exhibition space will be located underground. Beneath the courtyard of the former office space and theatre will lie more than 2000-square-meters of open plan gallery space, which can be reconfigured to accommodate a broad variety of works. Skylights will provide the exhibition areas with natural light, and pierce a sculptural ceiling canopy that varies throughout the underground space. Above ground in the Lasipalatsi square, the skylights appear as domed apertures encouraging visitors to "take a peek inside".
Bio Rex, the existing 550-seat movie theatre at Lasipalatsi, will be retained as a space for hosting film festivals and screenings, exploring "an intersection between film and visual arts." This exploratory approach to art and its display underpins the whole project, described as "[not] a museum for art, but an art museum for people." Modern and contemporary art in its various mediums and scales will be the focus of the museum, whose ceiling is to reach heights of up to 9 meters in places.
The flexible interior space will lend itself to a range of functions, and host public workshops, retail outlets, offices, meeting rooms, and a library alongside its exhibiting capabilities. JKMM's design is fully accessible, allowing enjoyment by visitors with wheelchairs, prams, or walkers.
The New Amos Anderson Art Museum will form part of a growing contemporary art precinct in downtown Helsinki, joining Kiasma, the Helsinki Art Museum, and the Kuntshalle. Construction of the project is due to begin in autumn this year, with a projected completion date of early 2018. However, is hoped that the museum will be finished as early as 2017 to coincide with celebrations for the centennial of Finnish Independence.
LocationLasipalatsi, 00100 Helsinki, Finland