Museum in and of the garden
The National Museum of Finland is a major institution sited across the road from Aalto’s Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. The museum was designed by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen in the national Romantic Style popular in Scandinavia – and particularly Finland – in the early 1900s. A key part of that project was the garden, recently completed to Saarinen and his collaborators’ original design. The brief included a major new gallery to allow the exhibition of contemporary objects, while at the same time improving security, conservation and storage. This meant that the program had to be located in the garden and connect back to the original building via an existing lift. The design needed to resolve this inherent conflict.
We proposed a building that is part of and reinforces the garden. Specifically, the plan weaves through the centre of the garden and navigates the elliptical paths designed by Saarinen and recently realised. Where the program insists upon traversing these paths, the building is cut to allow it to pass. The copper skin and faceted curves are both a homage to Finlandia Hall opposite, while ensuring the building merges with the garden over time. Pockets of the façade are reserved for plants, completing the fusion of building and park.
Existing Museum and Garden
Plan Adjustment: Extension
Plan Adjustment: Courtyard
Plan Adjustment: Tree
Plan Adjustment: Forecourt
Plan Adjustment: Trees
Plan Adjustment: Path
Plan Adjustment: Sunken Courtyard
Plan Adjustment: Final Arrangement