Helsinki, Finland

* Helsinki Design Museum

Fall 2020

A proposal for the new home of the Helsinki Design Museum, the building will serve as both a space for viewing works of Finnish Design as well as an urban center for the community consisting of various public amenities.

The site of the museum is Kasarmitori Plaza Square, a central location within the city close to significant public transportation nodes as well as many cultural hot spots. The plaza attracts heavy pedestrian traffic and in order to facilitate this the building is directly embedded into this urban fabric minimally disrupting existing flow paths. To achieve this, the design blurs the line between exterior and interior space through the use of topographic surface and a clear central transparency from the street facade spilling out into the plaza. The topography of this central pathway is an extension of the plaza, bringing public outdoor space into the building.

Two additional areas of research that influenced the architecture of the museum were vernacular design as well as local materiality. Informed by the icons of Finnish design which were often directly inspired by natural resources, the use of local timber heavily influenced the structural logic of the building. The structure of the museum is made from the local timber of nearby forests which is then machined into CLT beams acting as both the structural grid as well as a mechanism for dividing interior space into programmatic cells.

Finnish Vernacular + Local Timber

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