38 . Architecture Research Urbanism

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extension of the Serlachius Museum . Mänttä


courtesy of XML Architecture Research Urbanism

How to imagine a museum that liberates the experience of art from the dominance of the site's omnipresent landscape? Rather than organizing the museum's spaces in relation to the site's abundance of daunting nature, this proposal sets out to create a museum that mediates between two worlds: an external world of nature and an internal world of art.
















The required programme has been distributed along a continuous route that connects different programmatic clusters such as galleries, storage, restaurant and office. By bending this route into a circle two conditions have been organized: on the inside of the circle a series of enclosed exhibition spaces allows visitors to focus on the experience of art, on the outside of the circle the continuous route that connects the programmatic clusters allows for alternating this 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' (left) and 'Summermuseum' (right) that host programs of different nature.

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 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 museum’s archive into exhibitions offering the possibility to experiment with new curatorial models and modes of displaying art.

Architect: XML Architecture Research Urbanism
Max Cohen de Lara, David Mulder
Location: Mänttä, Finland
Program: Museum (expansion): galleries, office, archive facilities, restaurant
Area: 15000 m2
Year : 2011
Client: Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation
Status: Competition


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