Context of extension
The project concerns the extension of the Serlachius Museum Gösta (Joenniemi Manor) at Mänttä. The location was traditionally a farming area, with the manor serving as a model farm for other farmers. Designed by Paul Olsson in 1935, the park and formal garden containing geometric elements was unique in the Mänttä village community.
The quality of the site resides in its significative landscape.
The manor is sited at a visually prominent location, viewed from the mainland as well as from lake Melasjärvi, and dominates the views. Maintaining the spacious quality of the landscape is the focal point for the design. Accentuating the original views in the Taavetinsaari and lake direction is an important aspect for landscape design.
Integration with the context
Indeed, considerations on the landscape were the source of inspiration.
The design of the park surrounding Joenniemi Manor is designed of a few curved lines which allow a slow and progressive discovery of the place.
The project relates to and evolves from these curved lines. Therefore its geometric construction comes from specific spatial and landscape relations.
The basic policy for the design, the first aim is to propose a new model for a relationship between the building and its natural environment while preserving the surrounding scenery and preserving the site and its qualities.
The extension fuses architecture with the landscape to create an experimental architecture that unfolds for visitors as it is perceived through each individual’s movement through space and time. The new addition, named floating arc bar, engages the existing park and sculpture garden, transforming the entire museum site into the precinct of the visitor’s experience.
The addition extends along the eastern edge of the site, and is distinguished by two different bodies: one develops linearly on the long side of the lawn designed by Paul Olsson between the museum and the lake; the other is the arc bar floating on the park, which crosses the lake and ends on the rock Taavetinsaari.
The project forms new spaces and angles of vision: this innovative merging of landscape, allows the visitor to move through the new addition, he will experience a flow between light, art, architecture and landscape, with views from one level to another, from inside to outside.
The curved movement between the light-gathering shape of the new addition weaves the landscape in a fluid dynamism based on a sensitive relationship to its context. Rather than an addition of a mass, the new buildings exist in complementary contrast with the original Joenniemi Manor.
Configuration of the spaces
The first part of the project is a linear shape. This is a bright and transparent space, with foyer, ticket desk, shopping point and the conference and representation facilities complex, inviting the public into the museum and encouraging movement via ramp toward up the gallery as they progress downward into the park and the lake coast.
Architectonically speaking, this part is characterized by simple facades, with wide full-length windows and a changeable weave of vertical and diagonal wood and steel elements. The ceiling has a downward belly, expressing its lightness and softness. Curvilinear cuts disclose to the visitor trajectories of crossing.
The main entrance is in Joenniemi Manor square. The new entrance lobby is in continuity with the atrium of the existing museum, followed by the ticket desk and the shopping point. In these areas the visual permeability with the exterior is almost complete. The core of the composition is the foyer, where the ramp to the floating museum starts and where the entrance to the assembly hall/exhibition space is located. This spatial crossing is marked by a curvilinear cut in the ceiling, which allows the light to play with the space. The sauna is placed close to the end of the system; a small circular element that opens reservedly on the lake bank. A mooring pier finishes the track.
From the foyer a cross-axis leads to the grand space of the exhibition gallery. At night the glowing glass aspect of the first part provides an inviting transparency, drawing visitors to events and activities.
The second part is the floating arc bar.
The design combines all of the various programs into one grand vision for a floating horizontal museum. It is an innovative visualization that is coherent in its simple geometry. Like the lake horizon, it sublimates all the various programs into a grander image. The functional configuration develops with a continuous and fluid movement. The space changes as the surrounding landscape changes. Floating over the park, it moves through the trees, which are kept intact on site. The floating horizontal arc bar of the space exhibition allows lake and land trees to pass through a flexible, shaded landscape.
The internal path amongst the different areas has its sinuous complement in the open flow through the continuous level of the gallery below. The exhibition spaces, organized in sequence to support the progression of the organization, gradually go through the curve and are punctuated by the views into the landscape.
Offices are located at the mezzanine level. Flexible and equipped spaces allow excellent efficiency. Repositionable boxes constitute the operative units. The living room and the library overlook the landscape; they use Taavetinsaari trees’ foliage as natural screens.
At the end of the floating arc bar there is the restaurant, where a wide full-length window and the open terrace integrate the visitor with the landscape.
The bridge to Taavetinsaari completes the project of the circulation in the park, allowing direct access to the restaurant and staff facilities.
The floating arc bar has the appearance of a luminous and translucent object, its long facades diffuse and reflect light, at times materializing light like a block of ice. During the day the facades inject varying qualities of light into the gallery, while at night the floating arc bar glows with its internal light. The facade provided by some large windows allows to enjoy significative glimpses of the lake and the surrounding landscape.
The façade package is constituted by a double white polycarbonate plate with a wood inner structure. Inner air chambers in transparent allow to vary the insulation factor with a controlled inflation system. In effect the double layer translucent cavities of the facade gather sun–heated air in winter or exhaust it in summer.
Optimum light levels for all types of art or media installations and seasonal flexibility requirements are ensued through the use of special computer-controlled translucent insulating material embedded in the layers cavities.
The walls that define the exhibition spaces can be moved at will, on request of the exhibitions’ curators. A rail with a lifting winch moves sculptures and heavy pieces of works from the assembly hall’s entrance floor to the exhibition spaces; moreover, a packable insulated ceiling can close the conference room.
White and dark grey are the dominant colours, the slightly reflecting surfaces absorbs surrounding chromatic changes, but also provides a background to the colors and textures of the artwork to be exhibited.
The complex consists of two distnct parts: one close to the ground, the other floating.
The first one is structurally composed of a variable pitch of wood and steel pillars, with a covering in trusses and floors in precast concrete platformsresting on the pillars.
The second one is characterised by extremely thin structures. Trusses are the frame and these are made of steel profiles with 400x200mm rectangular sections. The result is a structure that is very little invasive.
The trusses can cover extremely important spans without having to use intermediate support.
Trusses serve as a support for the ceiling beams and the floor beams. These trusses are characterised by an asymmetric geometry which aims to optimize the position of the plants and of the bridge crane which ease the mounting of the museum's exhibitions. The asymmetric beams have a convexity both towards the inside of the arc bar (ceiling) and towards the exterior (floor).
The support points (near the concrete stairs and and steel pillars of the island) allow to equip the building with very little invasive foundations.
The assembly hall and the first concrete stairs constitute tha starting point and the support for the structures of the arc bar. Concrete will be produced with high percentages of recycled aggregates.
Steel structures allow to reduce realisation times so the time required for the building yard is minimum: less energy consumption, less pollution into the environment. The building of the steel arc bar will employ progressive sub-yards: first, vast portions of trusses are built, then hoisted and placed with the use of simple shoring. The building yard is clean and fast: with the use of cranes with are able to assemble the enitre structure.