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Lumen Valo brings the new Sara Hildén Art Museum building into the Finlayson area – the international architectural competition in Tampere has been resolved

Published 20.5.2021 11.28

The open international architectural competition for the design of the new Sara Hildén Art Museum building in the Finlayson area in Tampere has been resolved. The competition proposal Lumen Valo by architect Janne Hovi won the competition. The result was announced on 20 May 2021 at a public live broadcast from the current Sara Hildén Art Museum in Särkänniemi, Tampere.

Lumen Valo, tekijä arkkitehti Janne Hovi

A total of 472 competition entries were approved for the competition. The number of entries is among the highest ever submitted to an architectural competition in Finland.

- Competition entry Lumen Valo takes into account, by simple means, both the values related to the history of the Finlayson area and the starting points of the surrounding area and the requirements of the art, says the chair of the jury, Deputy Mayor Jaakko Stenhäll.

The chain of exhibition halls that are proportionate and utilise natural light in a beautiful manner constitute an experimental architectural entity and an appropriate environment for viewing artworks, the evaluation minutes state.

According to the jury, aesthetics that fit the spirit of the Finlayson industrial area and Sara Hildén Art Museum is captured in the subtle design of the winning competition entry Lumen Valo. In its matter-of-factness, it relates to the historical architecture of the construction site. Throughout the long history of the Finlayson area, its buildings have been built gradually and in a natural manner based on the needs of the purpose. Lumen Valo continues this tradition.

The unpretentious attitude that beautifully reflects the Finnish national mentality and the heritage of Sara Hildén runs through both the exhibition facilities and the exterior architecture of the entry. The overall shape of Lumen Valo has been derived from its exhibition facilities. In this, it truly stands out from among the competition entries, the jury states about its choice.

The new art museum building will be under the ownership of Varma Pension Insurance Company, the City of Tampere and the Sara Hildén Foundation.

- As the owner of the buildings in the Finlayson area, Varma is very excited about the project. This is a great opportunity for Varma to be involved in creating better showrooms for one of the largest and most important modern and contemporary art collections in Finland. At the same time, the museum project will help increase the attractiveness of the Finlayson area and the entire Tampere city centre, says member of the jury and Varma’s Real Estate Manager Kai Niinimäki.

The competition area is part of a nationally significant built cultural environment (the Finnish Heritage Agency’s inventory of nationally significant built cultural environments, RKY) consisting of repurposed former industrial buildings. The location designated for the art museum is located next to the access route into the area and is currently mainly used for parking. The area is bordered by the old headquarters of the factory and other historical buildings, as well as Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park, where Finlayson Palace is located.

A new framework for art

The competition aimed to create an architecturally distinctive building that would take account of the values of its environment, create a framework for art, and support the identity and character of the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Sara Hildén Art Museum is used for displaying Finnish and international modern and contemporary art that are included in the collections of Sara Hildén Foundation, as well as changing exhibitions of Finnish and International art.

The art museum currently operates in the Särkänniemi area. The new location in the Finlayson area makes the museum part of the centre of Tampere, develops the preconditions for museum activities, and strengthens the vitality of the city space. The winning entry will be developed further and local detailed planning and other planning will be continued in cooperation with the author of the winning entry.

The competition was organised by Varma, Sara Hildén Foundation, and the City of Tampere in cooperation with the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA).

High-quality solutions

The other entries that ranked in the competition are Obscura by Heljä Nieminen and Havu Järvelä and Mezzo by Arkkitehdit Rudanko + Kankkunen Oy that came in shared third place. Entries XXX (Arquitectos Ayala S.L.P.) and A sculpture in the park (ALL – atelier lorentzen langkilde) were purchased. In addition, ten entries were given an honorary mention.

The competition produced a wide range of high-quality, carefully examined, and interesting design solutions. The new art museum was either, bravely, made a dominant feature in the cityscape or integrated with the surrounding buildings in a more subtle way.

In its final discussion, the jury emphasised the overall general approach of the entries that ranked in the competition. Based on the final assessment, the historical and landscape values of the construction site can be taken into account in different ways. The ultimate question was how the competitors had succeeded in combining these, on the terms of the starting point they had chosen for their entry.

All competition entries and the evaluation minutes can be viewed on the competition website.

Further information

City of Tampere Chair of the jury, Deputy Mayor
Jaakko Stenhäll Tel. +358451378505

Sara Hildén Foundation
Artist, Doctor of Fine Arts Silja Rantanen Tel. +358 45 644 6303

Varma Pension Insurance Company
Real Estate Manager Kai Niinimäki Tel. +358 40 729 8144

The winner’s contact details:
Architect Janne Hovi Tel. +358 50 596 0057

Please contact the competition secretary to acquire any other contact details:
Competition secretary, Architect Annina Vainio Tel. +358 40 738 0838

Text Anna-Leea Hyry

Photos Janne Hovi