Sara Hildén Art Museum


tampere, finland


Sara Hildén Foundation




competition entry



Sara Hildén Art Museum

The purpose of this architectural competition was to find solutions for a new building that would complement the historical cityscape of Tampere (Finland) and meet the functional, architectural and sustainability objectives of the Sara Hildén Art Museum.

The placement of the museum follows and completes the urban grid of Stone City. The trees that define the plot are respected and protected, by placing the masses around them with care. Although prominent in scale and materiality, the volumes are designed to enhance the connection between the Finlayson factory area and the Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park instead of forming a physical barrier that separates city from nature. The large brick buildings and smaller wooden structures of the Finlayson area find their origin in the industrialization of Tampere and define its urban landscape. This contrast in scale and material was one of the starting points for this design and creates an intimate local museum with an international appeal.

To match the scale of the area, the museum is divided into four volumes of different functions, proportions and material palettes: the foyer, exhibition spaces, public/personnel facilities, and technical support facilities. Supported by a timber structure, the exhibition volume is elevated from the ground to extend the public domain. This creates a strong visual connection between both sides of the block, and between the Finlayson headquarters and the palace. From the park, one looks, past the sculpture garden below the exhibition volume, directly into the welcoming foyer on the other side of the street and at the historic buildings behind it. On the shared space street, the exhibition volume and foyer are pushed back to leave more space for old trees and create a shared place that stimulates the exchange of ideas both in- and outside the museum.

The open brick bond facade on the park side of the exhibition volume is a modern interpretation of the rich use of brick that characterizes the area. The transparency of this facade lets visitors experience the park from inside the museum and reveals a glimpse of the interior to the passerby, sparking their curiosity of what might be shown inside. Vertical voids perforate the mass for both optimal daylight control in the exhibition spaces as well as an enhanced connection with the sculpture garden below. Lighter cladding of the smaller blocks reflects the surrounding tones, so that from a distance the volumes appear to be one with the context.

share this project:

Other projects