Uusi Paviljonki – New Pavilion


The new proposed entrance building to National Museum of Finland consists of a minimal glazed pavilion that maximizes transparency and permeability within the existing gardens with sensitivity to the existing museum designed by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen.

The pavilion follows the length of the existing stone wall and the orthogonal grid of the historic edifice. Sensitive to the existing trees, the siting of the pavilion allows the preservation of the row of Plane trees whilst allowing open parkland for events and outdoor exhibition.

The pavilion houses the new entrance lobby, gift shop, cafe and restaurant. It is characterized by three solid volumes, which support the cantilevered roof and create light wells and vertical circulation to the spaces below. Arched openings derived from the existing building lighten the elements and enhance their sculptural nature whilst also permitting views from above to the exhibition spaces below.

Excavated in the bedrock below are the new exhibition spaces, preservation workshops, administration spaces and the connecting lobby with the existing building. Where possible all subterranean spaces have operable natural lighting and ventilation via the three main light wells, a sunken patio running the length of the stone wall and two oculus within the garden. The concentrated natural lighting enhances the atmospheric nature of the subterranean space, which contrasts to the glazed light and open spaces above.

The sunken lobby connects through to the courtyard within the existing building whereby a new four columned structure that corresponds geometrically with the new pavilion volumes is raised and enclosed by a glazed trapezoid.

Pigmented green concrete is used throughout the new intervention, the colour of which is taken from the original watercolour drawings for the historic building, the frescoes of its interiors and the parkland. This tonal atmosphere is continued in the faceted oxidized copper roof which allows the building to be somewhat camouflaged in the park.

Project: Uusi Kansallinen / The New National: Annex to the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki.
Status: Architecture Competition
Location: Helsinki
Area: 3850sqm

Taneli Mansikkamäki
Alex Nicholls
Christopher Ioannou