Tampere Art Museum

The role of art in contemporary culture has never been more critical, raising questions about tolerance, understanding and creativity. Likewise, the complex ecology of spaces and networks that enable art to be produced, experienced and disseminated – which we might call ‘cultural infrastructure’ – is now more essential than ever to the life of our cities. This ecology, with the support of architecture, urban planning and inspired leadership, has an important role to play in safeguard our cultural and economic wellbeing.

This proposal considers the Art Museum as part of a wider network of cultural institutions throughout the city of Tampere and the wider region, rather than as a single cultural silo. The Art Museum, nearby High School, Tampere Music Conservatory, Pyynikintori Square, Kelloplaani Park, Tampere Library, Pyynikin Swimming Pool and Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing are drawn together as part of a cultural district, linked by a coherent landscape proposal which prioritises pedestrians and makes space for more active and engaging uses such as a programmed markets.

The proposed extension to the museum is imagined as a robust yet flexible framework: a half-open/half-closed space that can contract and expand to meet the changing demands of the museum and of its network of cultural institutions, both from day to day and long into the future. Much like the flexible premises of the existing Crown Granary, still in use today after 170 years, having been converted to host the Tampere Art Museum.

The extension is a finely crafted red brickwork building, cast as a scale representation of the existing museum to which it connects via an underground gallery. Internally it provides double height spaces, generous courtyards and terraces. All these ‘voids’ allow the museum to be easily reprogrammed, by simply enclosing the outdoor spaces or adding new levels within the existing infrastructure. An example of this is the first-floor terrace – visualised at the opening of this page – now configured as an outdoor gallery space (the artwork in this CGI is copyright of acclaimed artist Conrad Shawcross).

The proposed design for Pyynikintori Square, together with the new extension to the Tampere Art Museum, create a new urbanity, which reinstates the historic relationship that the two once enjoyed and opens its future narrative as the City’s Cultural Quarter.
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