Designed to create powerful galleries within a fluid space connected to the city, the museum is organized around three white granite walls, or “arcs”.
The “Arc of the City” relates to the architectural and cultural fabric of Helsinki. It is clad in a bronze facade and contains community space and an art workshop, as well as the pragmatic activities of the museum. More than just collections management, it is a place for artists to create or assemble large scale work.
The “Arc of the Sea,” facing South Harbor, is created of glass and is also thought of as the arc of light. The glass wall allows passerby to see into the museum – and museum goers to see out – through carefully placed voids in the stone wall beyond. At night, the glass wall comes to life with an ethereal, moving light show displayed through a series of programmable LED lights.
The “Arc of the Earth” faces south and represents our connection to the earth with a facade constructed of logs. The arc forms a sculpture court and outdoor gathering and performance space, surrounded by forest trees and reaching over the street to foster a connection with the adjacent park.
In the museum galleries, the convex arcs create walls that project each piece of artwork toward the viewer while adjacent paintings recede. The room has no centerline, no controlling geometry. The viewing of each painting creates its own center.
PROFESSIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION
WILLIAM C. TRIPP, ARCHITECT
JOHN MATERNOSKI, ASSOC. AIA
WILLIAM TRIPP, ARCHITECT