Helsinki‘s new cultural powerhouse, The Amos Rex Art Museum, has opened in late August with “Massless” – a major international exhibition by the Tokyo-based digital art collective teamLAB.

The 2,200 square metre gallery space was designed by local architecture firm JKMM, and has been completed after five-years in the making, having cost €50 million (AUD 80M).

Amos Rex, formerly known as Amos Anderson Art Museum brings contemporary architecture to the landmark modernist 1930’s Lasipalatsi building in Central Helsinki, with world-class flexible gallery space located beneath a remodelled public square. The connection between the past and the present has created an exciting starting point for the design.

The new museum has gently taken over Lasipalatsi. The main façade on Mannerheimintie street retains its original look as the museum settles inside. The latest layer, designed by JKMM Architects, brings the venue to this century with a new building beneath the square housing the exhibition areas and workspaces.

The sizeable exhibition halls have structural dome ceilings. Gently curving shapes are an architectural theme that brings together the design of the square and the art museum underneath. The distinctly contemporary architecture was seamlessly integrated into the surroundings while boldly standing out at the same time. Skylights provide a direct connection to the square above.

The open halls have no pillars and can be used flexibly to create different exhibitions spaces. The figure of the old chimney defines the area.

The new Amos Rex museum redefines the location of the Lasipalatsi Square, giving it a new identity as the focus of lively urban culture in Central Helsinki.


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[Images courtesy of JKMM Architects & Amos Rex Art Museum. Photography by Mika Huisman & Tuomas Uusheimo.]


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