International Contest: Alvar Aalto Museum
contest: International Architectural Competition for an Extension between the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, 2016
location: Jyvaskyla Ruusupuisto, Jyvaskyla, Finland
concept design: Alexandru Crisan, Ana Maria Crisan; collaborators: Ioana Turcanu, Delia Prisecaru
ABOUT / the concept…
LINKS… FLUID SPACE…SPATIAL CONTINUITY… GAP BETWEEN BUILDINGS… LANSCAPE…= NOVEL TECHTONIC
A link sometimes becomes the articulation that acts with modesty as a fluid architecture. A link sometimes materializes as a space DRAWN BY DYNAMICS: the dynamic of the art-in taking people, the dynamic of the light touching the landscape and dispersing into the Alvar Aalto built canyon along its natural curves. A link sometimes dreams to be ARCHITECTURE, architecture floating above the organically drawn landscape, an architecture PROTECTING A GAP between two buildings: Alvar Aalto Museum and Museum of Central Finland. The project aims to reassert the currently built configuration of both existing museums welded by a minimalist geometrically defined enclosure. The proposed extension airily lays and floats, accentuating the metaphysic relation between Alvar Aalto Museum and Museum of Central Finland. The rooftop, a simple minimal slab, acts as a horizontal connection, defining the contemporary interpretation of specific details of the Aalto architecture, (re)formulating its iconic identity.
The volumetric shape… and the relation with existing buildings (vicinities)
The geometrical development espouses an irregular form, unifying under the ceiling the orthogonally-determined composition of interior spaces. The extension tends to develop a special relation with the existing buildings. Consequentially, it detaches the structure and the main glass walls from the existing facades of Aalto museums, thus “living” individually into its own determined metaphysic space.
Exterior walls, facades details, ceiling – key words: transparencies / reflection of interior and exterior space
The façade walls redirect the images defined by the composition and decomposition of the natural light, which is reflected from the surface of the water basins through the roof inside the building. As a result, we induce a highlighting effect of the continuous movement and transition of the surrounding landscape. The rooftop is a horizontal plane suspended over the GAP between the two building blocks, a horizontal plane articulated in light. In contrast, the horizontal intervention is opaque matter, solid platforms acting as insitu tectonics.
Functional disposal… key words: Spatial continuity, Fluidity, Main gallery hall extension, tectonic development.
The functional disposal followed an apparently simple recipe: to respect the natural flow in the gap, to simply stand in the visible front, and to be camouflaged in the back. The theme requirements became in our concept the strong points of the building idea: the connection between different levels was translated into fluidity and demanded a “link“ for spatial continuity. Besides the logical connection between the museums, this FLUIDITY AND SPATIAL CONTINUITY defined the intervention in terms of old and new tectonics, reinterpreting the Alvar Aalto gestures in open green spaces. Thus, the function is simultaneously a Main gallery hall extension, a gateway to both museums from the outdoors, and an articulation filtering the light in the landscape. The space was considered a free space formed between the two facades of the Alvar Aalto Museum and Museum of Central Finland; a space double addresses, but subordinated to the Alvar Aalto Museum building. A succession of platforms secures the spatial continuity and connectivity, resolving the difference between levels, yet also delimitating different areas. The Alvar Aalto Museum building received an ample “pocket”, being the most imposing inner façade, also being the only architectural element with an orthogonal geometric addressed intervention. The fluidity was confirmed by a succession of ample stairways, acting as flow operators and as a visual dynamic scene as well. In the center of the space was placed the area of the museum, consisting in an exposing desk with 3 working stations and a deposit embedded in the walls, acting as a library for the museum. In the front platform, and all along the stairs, the height of the parapets allows the posting of general information for the Alvar Aalto permanent and temporary exhibitions, acting as an informative display. The orthogonally composed interior spaces accentuate the coherent relation between the hallway access of Museum to the adjacent exhibition spaces, on the one hand, and the main accesses designed by Aalto along the courtyard facades, on the other hand. The three main platforms disposed along the interior stairways circuit define the major spaces: access from exterior courtyard at level. The interior spaces are designed for exhibitions extension of the existing space of museums. Towards the exterior, the exhibition space are defined by the ceiling enclosure. The flexibility of the interior spaces layout makes possible several functional setups: …..
About the materials… technical details
The finishes in grey concrete are designed in contrast with the existing museum details in order to express the visual difference between the proposed extension and the existing buildings. The suggested materials follow the materiality frame established by Alvar Aalto, but with a twist – materials on the cooler side, with a texturized finish and with the capacity to absorb or reflect the light: epoxy resin for the floors, concrete horizontal slabs, and concrete vertical walls. The intervention relies on the texture sensitive dialog with the existent: the insertion is merely an architecture presence. From the start, the intervention proposes to be integrated as a tectonic gesture – the links between the museums respect a built fact: the step-like articulation that Alvar Aalto displays in the open spaces. Thus the floors are just platforms naturally diluting the height difference of the levels. The architectural presence comes into play in enclosing the articulation between the two museums: White translucent glass façade with white profiles are designed in order to achieve different stages of transparencies. The gap between the museums is envisioned as a controlled UNIT – a DOUBLE ORIENTED, ALIVE SPACE, having a particular dynamic. In this regard, the facades act as simple enclosures with light filtering role, but with the main purpose of reflecting the existing tree trunks, existing buildings environment and movement of people from the inside to the outside…
The landscape intervention acts to connect the museum site to the neighboring Ruusupuisto square. In contrast with possible complicated interventions, the redrawing of the immediate surroundings follows the signature attitude of the Alvar Aalto towards GREEN LANSCAPES. In this light, a green pasture, flowing naturally, with a minimal intervention – step slabs for stability reasons – seems a natural choice. The geometric and elaborated facades are standing at their best towering over the “unspoiled” landscape, opposing a minimalist WHITE chromatic to the green PASTURE. The only architectural lines remain the water basins and the orthogonal paths, along with parapets, all in rough concrete. By minimizing the intervention and by the restoration of the idyllic state, both the building museums and the basins act as an uncompleted architectural work.
texts: Ana-Maria Crisan, Alexandru Crisan