Serlachius Museum Gösta
Architect: NRJA
Status: Competition (2011)
Visualizer: Studio
Scale: Medium
Types: Cultural, Museum

The Museum will become a new and lively place for people of all generations from different places in Finland and abroad willing to discover Finnish art traditions, visit traveling exhibitions and attend annual art festivals.

Visitors will be able to enjoy surrounding landscape – the magnificent lake view and islands, Old Park, historic Joenniemi Manor and the new volume of museum extension – GÖSTA ARTROCK.


Two of Finnish landscape elements – a rock and a lake – create poetic concept of the new building. The extension volume emerge from ground and continues landscape around the historic Manor House preserving structure and basic elements of the park – lakeside line, old trees and two symmetrical plant-lined paths between the main building and the lake.


EXSISTING VALUABLE COMPOSITION = the Manor + Park + Square : This is the historic basis of the museum territory which is going to be updated with a new extension three times as big as the existing one.

RISING UP THE PARK & USING LOCAL ROCK AS A WALL FINISH : The new concept is to keep the historic Manor House as it is and rise up the Park with all of its structure – pathways, flowerbeds, lawns etc providing an extra space for new facilities and functions underneath.

OPENING THE ROCK WALLS TOWARDS BOTH ENTRANCES – SERVICE AND PUBLIC : The solid structure is opening up towards service and visitors access roads on both sides of the historic building. One – on the west side – generates service entrance for exhibitions and restaurant delivery but the other is more visible for dragging visitors into the main foyer.

MOVING BACK THE NEW VOLUME FROM THE MANOR : Sensitive approach and respect makes the new volume step back from the Manor House providing a wide green gap to lead necessary sunlight into the exhibition halls of old building.

MELASJARVI LAKE SHAPES THE INNER YARD : Leading the poetic reference of the Lake Melasjärvi into the new extension volume and creating a new courtyard.

CLOSING WALLS TO SOUTH & PROVIDING NORTH-EAST LIGHTING : Rise up the east wing of the new building to maintain the visitors entrance.

DYNAMICS OF THE NEW ROCK WALL INSPIRDED BY THE MANOR TERRITORY RELIEF : Joenniemi manor territory has a typical relief which is used to integrate the new organic structure – the museum extension – into the surrounding landscape.


Planning of the proposal is based on courtyard principle opening grate views through the courtyard towards the lake and providing good visibility and orientation within the building. Organic shaped space in the hearth of the building is a new public Plaza – open and accessible for everyone. Life in the space will be animated not only by artworks and visitors in exhibition halls but also by the Museum Restaurant which has a direct connection to the inner yard.

The lobby is conceived as a spatial continuation of the Plaza. The main foyer generously arranges old and new part of the Museum giving space for Museum Shop and Ticket counters, as well as providing extra space for exhibitions in lobby. A flat ramp leads people down to the main traveling exhibition spaces and a Museum Restaurant in the lower level.

All public premises have the optimal 4 m ceiling height with exception of 9 m for both traveling exhibition halls as required. The largest open planning exhibition hall uses East-faced courtyard glass walls as well as skylights to produce optimal lighting. More intimate is a collections gallery on the entrance level.

Sauna suite is situated on Taavetinsaari island where its historic place have been. The building consists of two parts – a replaced historic West wing terrace of The Manor which serves as the fireplace room and a new volume containing other premises.

Technical equipment

Large amount of service and mechanical rooms are placed on the lowest basement level in close relation with exhibition halls and artwork storages, archives, conservation and other rooms to provide all the necessary technical equipment and climate conditions. All museum spaces are designed to have state of the art climate control and fit out.


The Serlachius museum territory has historic and archeological values which are being preserved within the proposal. These components form basis of the territory layout – the main access from the East and different flows – visitors, transport, service, staff etc. By entering the Museum territory the visitors slowly open up a view to the old Manor House and the new representative entrance. The extension volume treated as an artificial landscape element merge into the park view behind the old trees reminding a huge rock wall.


The intent of the proposal is to use local materials like stone and timber for facade cover and indoor spaces, as well as for pathways and public squares on roof top. The structure of the new volume consists of concrete bearing walls and columns covered with steal beams up to 15 meter span. The inner yard is glassed in full height and a special solar glass is used on the West facade. Stone plates in a special layout are used in the East and West facades and have a reference to a natural solid rock wall of surrounding territory. Openings for regular office windows in the East wall are made in the load bearing concrete wall therefore the stone lace is free of regularity. Pattern of the stone facades are inspired by lake and earth structure of surrounding landscape.

Competition: Serlachius Museum Gösta | Team: Uldis Luksevics, Ieva Lace, Linda Leitane, Martins Rusins | Post date: 13/04/2012 | Views: 2.480