Here's another competition entry for the Serlachius Art Museum Gösta extension, this one designed by Amsterdam-based practice XML.
Project Description from the Architects:
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: Experiencing Art vs. Experiencing 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 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. A routing pattern of 'paid vs. unpaid' evolves.
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. When strolling the museum, visitors will turn their bodies both to art and nature, depending on their location along the museum's routing. Whereas visitors leave the route to enter one of the enclosed museum spaces to engage with the museums' exhibitions, specific moments on the routing frame the surrounding landscape to contemplate the view on the beautiful nature. The continuous route is not only organising the museums' programme, but it also mediates between two worlds - the inner world of art and the external world of nature - that ultimately meet in the experience of the museum's visitor.
Location: Mänttä, Finland
Program: Museum (expansion): galleries, office, archive facilities, restaurant
Area: 15,000 m2
Year : 2011
Client: Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation
See more plans and diagrams of XML's entry in the image gallery below.