Program: Museum Extension
Location: Jyvaskyla, Finland
Period: 2015- 2016


Nature is a concept with mixed connotations. It refers to an environment that plants, animals and other features develop their own accord. Apart from that, architecture elements can also be a kind of nature, just as Aalto’s practices describe possibilities to build up physical spaces which tightly rooted in their contexts.
With such understandings, we see this project implies an in-between position: on one hand it links Aalto’s two museums; on the other hand it locates in an idyllic green area. This site-specificity reveals another layer beyond the two natures above: a third role of nature.

Continuous pathway
We consider the new structure not simply as architectural object, but as artificial landscape. What is proposed here is an open platform breathing landscape in. The programs gently lean on the contours, not as hard wall, but open terraces forming a continuous route. The form is a three-dimensional translation to the water pools and the visual connection is therefore extended. Through the pools, past the bushes, cross the rising stairs, after several twist-and-turns, a piece of thick wooden grassland appears: a hidden refuge.

Expose the hidden
In traditional museums, the public and technical programs are kept as isolated parts. In this case, we see the space as a platform for exchange. Instead of treating back-stage programs merely as hidden space and bury it under the ground, we open it and visually connect it to public through sectional operations. The museum collections and public can be interwoven. It is a shared space where researchers, artists and public can be interacted. The collections are not just artifacts and the visitors are not just passive consumers. They become part of the cultural events.

Discover geometry
Rather than placing an “intervention”, we propose a “medium” to negotiate the complexities. The new structure is supposed to work as linkage between Aalto Museum and Central Finland Museum: two distinctive volumes. We consider it important to merge the three components into a whole but at the same time not lose their identities. The curves are introduced to redefine the geometries carefully. The stairs slope up and use their lengths to measure the gap. Their levels relate to the difference levels of the floor plans of both old and new, structuring tensions. The narrow space is expanded and becomes more readable. The visitors will get more chances to touch both museums on different altitudes, enriching their sensitivities on Aalto’s architecture and nature.













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