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Wed October 20 2021

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Winner picked in Finnish museum design contest

6 Dec 19 The winner has been chosen from 185 entries to a competition for the design of an annex to the National Museum of Finland.

JKMM Architects has won the competition and will receive a prize of €80,000 (£67,500). The other four works that made it to the final round of the competition share third place and receive €28,500 each. In addition, the competition jury has decided to give out five honourable mentions and purchase two works from among the rest of the entries.

In their assessment, the competition jury characterised the winning entry as “noble in its overall approach” and good in regard to accessibility. “The fact that the grand curving ceiling is visible from the underground foyer lends a wonderful mood to the interior and is excellent for visitor orientation. The entry is functionally very good, uncontrived and handsome. The foyer spaces and curving ceiling can be used for exhibitions to project their themes externally. The spaces are easily approachable and locatable.”

“Our entry explores themes typical of our architecture, such as humanity, the character of the place and the spirit that they create together,” said main designer and one of the founding partners of JKMM Architects Samuli Miettinen. “The National Museum of Finland belongs to everyone. It contains the ingredients for the common good for everyone in Finland. This is why we wanted to create an annex to the National Museum with architecture that is easy to understand for all visitors, but also elicits a wide range of interpretations.”

The other contestants in the final five were: Bruno Fioretti Marquez and his working group; Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects, PES-Architects; and a team of Laidun-design and LPR Architects.

Director general of the National Museum of Finland and member of the competition jury Elina Anttila said: “The annex will serve as a symbol of our contemporary understanding of national values and culture. JKMM’s beautiful work exemplifies cultural renewal and its power to effect change, while also underlining the unique architecture of the existing building. From a practical standpoint, the structure of the new spaces also corresponds to the needs of the museum’s expanding operations.”

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The architecture competition for the design of an annex to the National Museum of Finland was organised by the Finnish Heritage Agency, the National Museum of Finland and Senate Properties. The competition was public and consisted of two stages, with pseudonyms used for the entries.

“The nearly two hundred entries submitted in the first stage of the competition are a testament to the remarkably wide interest that the competition attracted both in Finland and internationally,” said Juha Lemström, who chaired the competition jury.

The winning group will now proceed to refine the competition entry into a viable sketch design in collaboration with Senate Properties and the National Museum of Finland. The decision on whether to realise the project is contingent on the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Heritage Agency committing to funding. It will be made after the design phase.

If construction begins as planned, the new complex consisting of the existing historical museum building, the new annex and a courtyard park will be opened to the public in 2025.  

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