Can the experience of art be enhanced through architecture?
The Serlachius Museum Gösta Competition entry by Eero Lundén and Eric Tan seeks to deviate from that mantra by developing an architecture that directly facilitates human interaction with art. The idea is that the experience of art can be enhanced through innovative architecture and new spatial experiences. The competition entry design seeks to achieve two main goals: to create an inspiring piece of architecture that will enhance the image of Serlachius Art Museum globally and to provide a truly unique museum experience by connecting visitors with the art like never before.
Location: Mänttä, Finland
Program: Serlachius Gösta Museum extension
Size: 4 700 m2
Status: Competition entry 2011
Client: Serlachius Museums
Team: Eero Lundén, Eric Tan
Can structural innovation lead to spatial innovation? In this project, studying different spatial and structural typologies resulted in new kinds of spaces within a new kind of architecture. Prom.Ino / Serlachius Museum Gösta entry by Eero Lundén and Eric Tan proposes a museum plan free of obstructions: columns, vertical circulation cores and service spaces. By using the building envelope as structure, the floor slabs can potentially take any shape, forming an uninterrupted passage through the museum.
New spatial and structural typologies with truly free plan were the conceptual starting points of the design. Together with the question ‘Can the experience of art be enhanced through architecture?’ the competition entry found its final form.
The design is a 4700 sqm extension composing of four floors and a basement. It is strategically situated adjacent to the Serlachius Museum, allowing the architecture to accentuate the character of the existing institution while retaining much of the surrounding landscape. A simple entrance connecting the two buildings allows for easy access to both sides. When arriving to the new Museum Courtyard, the extension will be the central focus while the old Mansion maintains its dominant position in the landscape.
Rooted in the idea of an art museum as a seamless space for visitors, the design contains as little obstructions as possible. This is achieved by connecting diverse functions of the museum through the use of an innovative structural system: Instead of intersecting the space with a typical column grid, the structure is moved into the façade. The main public functions form an unbroken series of spaces on each level, while supportive functions are pushed between slabs thus creating an architectural experience that is entirely devoted to the experience of art and culture.
The design facilitates a new way of experiencing art in the exhibition spaces, creating a new dialogue between art and the visitor. Freed from the rigidity of conventional museum sequences, the sloped free-form floors that surround the flat exhibition areas invite visitors to rest and lie down to fully experience the art with attention and time. The spatial concept allows visitors to establish their own path and pace for a unique experience through the museum.
The extension’s advanced façade-slab system aims to make the building as energy efficient as possible. The double-layer façade system acts as a buffer zone around the building. Thus enabling the building to adapt to external climatic conditions by regulating the temperature of airflows from the interior through the buffer zone and vice-versa. The façade openings are sized and positioned to optimize direct sunlight, taking full advantage of natural light and heating. Despite its seemingly complex appearance, the load bearing concrete façade system can be produced from pre-manufactured modular elements. Both slabs and facades are connected to create a cohesive and sound structural system.
Freed from the rigidity of conventional museum sequences, the sloped free-form floors that surround the flat exhibition areas invite visitors to rest and lie down to fully experience the art with attention and time.