Asif Khan

Alvar Aalto Museum Extension

We were shortlisted from 689 entries in the international competition to design an extension between the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland.

The Aalto Museum and Museum of Central Finland are remarkable neighbours in the university quarter of Jyväskylä. Many visitors imagine they are already physically connected or jointly ticketed. The opportunity to share facilities, visitors and exhibitions will enhance the voice of this ensemble within the Finnish cultural space.

The proposal imagines an Aalto screen crossing the landscape to connect the two museums.  Following the rooflines and rhythm of the existing buildings the proposal acknowledges but does not imitate Aalto’s architecture.

The screen is made from glass slats, changing appearance with the seasons and time. Natural light is filtered into the interior creating an intriguing sense of activity by day and at night is illuminated like a lantern in the darkness. The textured glass is slumped in panels, multi layered and designed to handle the large climatic loading.

The extension takes the form of shared space on two levels; a shop below and balcony gallery above. By opening the foyer glazing of the Museum of Central Finland the visitor is able to look down into the shop and travel there either by stair or the existing lift. This lift enables disabled visitors to move between the first and second floor of the Aalto Museum. The restaurant has the opportunity to spill into this public space or onto the terrace from the extension.

The balcony gallery wraps the new interior and provides a opportunity for shared curated space between the two museums. The creek and landscape are visible through a picture window facing uphill toward the university.

Team: Asif Khan and Eckersley O'Callaghan