By adding a bold new layer to this special site, we feel we are connecting past with present
– Asmo Jaaksi
Amos Rex, a new art museum in Helsinki, is set to open in August 2018, following the refurbishment of the Lasipalatsi Building in the centre of the Finnish capital.
The €50m (US$58m, £44.7m) project, designed by Finnish architects JKMM, will house 2,200sq m (23,600sq ft) worth of gallery space created beneath the remodelled public Lasipalatsi Square.
The new gallery’s roof, meanwhile, is formed of numerous domes, which contain angled rooflights allowing exhibitions to be “lit with natural light if the curators choose”, according to the museum.
The museum also said: “The shape of the domes is expressed in the topography of the newly landscaped public square which sits above the galleries, as a series of gently rolling forms clad in concrete tiles.”
The whole Lasipalatsi building refurbishment – spanning 13,000sq m (140,000sq ft) – has been overseen by JKMM. The architects said “special care” has been given to preserve original features, including the first external neon lighting system in Finland.
Asmo Jaaksi, founding partner of JKMM said: “Integrating one of Finland’s architecturally pioneering 1930s buildings – Lasipalatsi – as part of the Amos Rex project has been a moving experience.
“By adding a bold new layer to this special site, we feel we are connecting past with present. We would like this to come across as a seamless extension as well as an exciting museum space very much of its time.
“We would like the new Lasipalatsi Square with its gently curving ceiling domes to be received as a welcome addition to Helsinki’s urban culture; a place everyone and anyone in the city can feel is their own.”