Preserving Views

The Serlachius Museum Gösta extension will stand on a cape defined by the waterways at Pirkanmaa, approximately 3km from the centre of Mänttä.

The aim of the proposal is to preserve the Manor as a point of reference dominating the spacious approach views from all directions. Hence the prime design consideration was to maintain the architectural values of Joenniemi Manor as well as the open quality of the landscape surrounding it: the generous views, the landscape of gardens and green spaces, the grove, the tree-lined paths…

Following this fundamental principle, the new extension wil reveal itself gradually to the visitor as she approaches the museum through the park, occupying the space between Joenniemi Manor and the grove on the building’s west side and thus preserving the original views and landscape values.


The basic concept for the museum extension consists of several interlocking volumes of different sizes, cascading down the slope in such a fashion as to enhance the perspective on the lake from the Manor building.

The volumes design focuses on the windows which have different dimensions and positions. These are both windows into the activity of the museum and out to the panoramic vistas of the environment.

In this way it will be possible to experience from within the diversity of the surrounding nature, while at the same time optimizing the limited footprint of the extension as defined by trees, gardens and terraces.


The design creates a link to the main floor of the Manor Building at the entrance level, with the aim to provide it with a double access.

A new open outdoor staircase and ramp lead the visitor from the main façade of the Manor building to a terrace, a generous entrance providing the main access point to the extension. Another staircase in turn connects this terrace with the path surrounding the manor building, with its spectacular views of the landscape.

The visitor is ushered in and received in a generous hall that corresponds to the Manor’s ground exhibition floor, with the connecting corridor between buildings embedded in the terraces.

The extension’s ground floor accommodates such services as the shop, information point, toilets, cloakroom, Museum pedagogy facilities, and an assembly Hall that can also be used as exhibition space. Spaces for both permanent collection and travelling exhibitions are located in the lower floor, which connects to the art depots. The upper floor contains the remaining museum functions: offices, administration, as well as conservation spaces that require natural northern light.

Finally, the restaurant and sauna are located in intermediate floors connected to the gardens trough public terraces, luminous resting places that offer views towards the lake.


The design envisages walls of salvaged bricks with a slurry finish, a solid material that ages well. The use of bricks in the extension not only evokes the Manor Building, it also unifies the different volumes into a seamless structure and offers a modern interpretation of the original site’s construction. As to the building’s main structure, it is designed in reinforced concrete with brick walls.

Polished cement is used in circulation spaces and galleries in combination with wooden floors throughout the private areas. As a whole, the museum aims to be a construction event based on few rules, with materials that solve all possible eventualities. A system in which space prevails over construction, as environmental quality does over material.

Galleries and Lighting

All the galleries are at least five metres high, with some significantly higher, like the one for travelling exhibition 1 which rises up to nine metres. The spatial variety between exhibition facilities is considerable. Almost all the rooms are different in size and proportions. In addition, temporary walls can be added or removed at certain places, allowing dimensions and scale to be adjusted for special installations.

Lighting -a decisive factor in the perception of art- alternates in every room between daylight, artificial illumination and a mixture of both. Embracing the northern horizontal light peculiar to the city of Mänttä, natural daylight falls directly from above through glass panels placed flush with the ceiling, and it can be supported with artificial light if necessary.

Gallery spaces are also lit from different directions depending on the placement and shape of the window openings. This kind of daylight is controlled by adjustable panels that can be tailored to the needs of exhibitions. The aim is to create a series of well-proportioned and well-lit rooms for the display of art, in a building deeply attuned to the historical and landscape values of the site.


architect: Gonzalo Martinez Architecture  |  status: Competition (2011)  |  competition: Serlachius Museum Gösta  |  visualizer: Studio  |  budget: 15.000.000 €  |  scale: 4.900 m2 medium  |  ratio: 3.061,22 €/m2  |  types: cultural, museum  |  views: 1.669

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