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To belong and to stand out, this duality is the driving principle in our competition entry.  A twofold strategy which is consistently applied to integrate the new building with Tampere’s cultural landscape while delivering distinct Architecture.


Competition 2020


Sara Hildén Foundation

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter




7.000 m²


Art Museum


Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


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We propose a shift, materialized by introducing a change in direction from the orthogonal city grid. The resulting diagonal footprint fulfills two equally important urban strategies: 1- it completes the corner of the former factory and factory-shop city block. 2- it completes the ensemble of freestanding historical buildings within Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park. 

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The position of the new building in the middle of the plot allows for two new outdoor spaces on each side of the competition area, “Finlayson Plaza” towards east and “Wilhelm von Nottbeck Plaza” towards west. Finlayson Plaza will perform as an urban link to the former factory compound and the former factory headquarters while Wilhelm von Nottbeck Plaza functions as the link to Finlayson Palace and Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park.

In addition, the “twin plaza” principle restores the original edge of Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park along Finlayson street.

Both roof terraces at the 4th floor will be accessible to the public, providing panoramic views towards Näsijärvi lake and towards the city of Tampere. The terraces allow for a break of fresh air in the way up or the way down from the top-floor gallery. 

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The compact footprint and the placement of the museum on site retains the existing trees and by adding large roof gardens the target for Tampere green factor at 0,7 can be met.    

The café and the multipurpose room are located in the annex across Finlayson street, right opposite to the museum’s main entry. The intention is to double-load Finlayson street with program in order to intensify the museum’s engagement with urban life at the Finlayson area and the shared space strategy.



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We propose the access for service traffic through Finlayson street and further through the proposed Finlayson Plaza on the east side of the plot, with delivery access on the north façade as illustrated on the plan drawings. We propose an indoor “drive-through” solution for art loading / unloading. This area, which is 210m2 and purposely located side by side with the foyer, can be exploited as “walk-through” exhibition space and public-event space when not in use for delivery.

The diagonal shift applies further as an architectural principle, it organizes all the rooms of the building in a repetitive system, creating a staggering “industrial- like” volume. The resulting jagged facades maximize the interaction between inside and outside towards both Finlayson street and Wilhelm von Nottbeck Park. Exhibition areas on the ground floor are conceived as exceptionally open and are designed as an active part of the public space. 

Ground Floor Plan

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The same stepping façade geometry substantially increases linear meters of exhibition walls at the galleries on level 3 and 4, also making the subdivision into smaller rooms more natural, by means of sliding wall panels. On the 4th floor the two spatial organization principles meet in the main exhibition space. The jagged floorplan of the lower levels is expanded vertically through a volume that is illuminated with natural light that filters through the “perforated” facade.

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The interior of the museum is conceived as made entirely out of wood. The structural spans and dimensions are proportioned to allow for CLT plates to be utilized as structural components for the entire building. The concept of “belonging while being different” applies to the materiality of the facades. We propose glazed bricks as the main material. The combination of brick patterns is thought as soft fabrics or textiles more than load bearing masonry. The brickwork, in combination with its semi-reflective finish, creates an expression which is both familiar and foreign within the historical context.

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Plan 2

Plan 4

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Plan 3

Plan 5

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