JKMM Wins 'New National' Competition

John Hill
5. December 2019
Visualization: JKMM

Helsinki's JKMM Architects has been chosen as the winner in the two-stage competition to design an annex to the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki.

JKMM was one of five finalists revealed in June, though we didn't know it at the time since the entries were submitted anonymously per Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA) guidelines. The finalists were selected from 185 submissions. JKMM's winning scheme, titled Atlas, was described by the jury as "noble in its overall approach” and was praised in terms of accessibility.

JKMM receives EUR 80,000 for winning the competition, while the other four finalists, tied for third place, each receive EUR 28,500. With the announcement, we now know the identities of these other firms: Asuuri was designed by Bruno Fioretti Marquez and his working group, Haapio was the work of Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects, Kolme pihaa was designed by PES-Architects, and Lähde was a collaboration between Laidun-design Oy and LPR Architects.

Visualization: JKMM

The saucer-like addition that pops above the new courtyard park behind the museum's 1916 building was further praised by the jury:

"The fact that the grand curving ceiling is visible from the underground foyer lends a wonderful mood to the interior and is excellent for visitor orientation. The entry is functionally very good, uncontrived and handsome. The foyer spaces and curving ceiling can be used for exhibitions to project their themes externally. The spaces are easily approachable and locatable."

Elina Anttila, Director General of the National Museum of Finland, also said:

"The annex will serve as a symbol of our contemporary understanding of national values and culture. JKMM’s beautiful work exemplifies cultural renewal and its power to effect change, while also underlining the unique architecture of the existing building. From a practical standpoint, the structure of the new spaces also corresponds to the needs of the museum’s expanding operations."

Visualization: JKMM

Next, JKMM will "refine their competition entry into a viable sketch design in collaboration with Senate Properties and the National Museum of Finland," per the announcement of the winner. If all goes well, the museum annex and courtyard park will open to the public in 2025, with the existing National Museum of Finland remaining open during construction.

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