JKMM to extend national museum of finland with circular pavilion-like structure

JKMM to extend national museum of finland with circular pavilion-like structure

in an anonymous design competition to extend the national museum of finland, a proposal by JKMM architects has been selected ahead of 184 other competing schemes. the brief called for a plan that would extend the existing institution, which opened in 1916 as one of finland’s finest examples of national romantic architecture. the addition was required to offer: increased exhibition space; workshops; a new restaurant; and improved access, including a new entrance for the museum. it was also important that the extension could support a dynamic program of events, while working in tandem with the existing building.

all images courtesy of JKMM architects



titled ‘atlas’, JKMM’s competition-winning design takes the form of a circular volume set within the museum’s stone walled garden. it was important to the architects that the new addition remained independent of the original building, while respecting the historic garden. the scheme’s freestanding sculptural quality addresses these concerns by creating a pavilion-like structure in keeping with the traditions of structures found in park and garden settings.



underneath the cantilevered 2,000 ton concrete roof, the new ground floor restaurant faces the sunniest aspect of the garden and can be used independently of the rest of the museum. its walls are made of structural glass that curve around the extension creating a sense of a floating roof as well as introducing natural light to the floors below, where a stepped ‘public square’ leads visitors to the new exhibition galleries.



‘the national museum of finland is a unique opportunity to explore inclusiveness in a building and we are deeply honored to have won the competition,’ says JKMM founding partner samuli miettinen. ‘our entry, atlas, reinforces our interest in how architecture can enable a sense of solidarity and belonging to a place. the national museum is a place that belongs to everyone and anyone in finland and we thought its extension’s architectural form should be universally understood yet encourage multiple interpretations.’ see other projects by JKMM architects on designboom here.



project info:


name: atlas
location: national museum of finland, helsinki, finland
building program: a new extension including: additional exhibition space, workshops, a new restaurant in the museum’s garden
competition organizers: the finnish heritage agency, the national museum of finland and senate properties


competition team
architect: JKMM architects
samuli miettinen (lead architect), asmo jaaksi, teemu kurkela, juha mäki-jyllilä, samuli summanen, marko pulli, marcus kujala, svenja lindner
structural engineers: ramboll finland oy
mechanical & electrical engineers: ramboll finland oy
geo: ramboll finland oy
landscape architects: loci maisema-arkkitehdit

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