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Moderna Museet Malmö

10 May, 2010

Moderna Museet Malmö

Malmö Museum of Art gives new breath to the neighborhood. FlagGRUK

By Maria Papadimitriou

Greek version

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter is an architectural office that focuses on architecture and design, from the large scale of urban planning to the scale of buildings, interiors and objects.

They do not have a specific identity, like Ghery or Hadid. Every architectural project of them is unique. They design within the unique context and specific conditions that each new challenge poses. Taking an active approach, the office is involved throughout the whole process, from developing the early sketch to the on-site supervision.

Innovation, experimentation, new technologies and contemporary materials are the main characteristics of their architecture.

We see below the Malmö Museum of Art. It is a public and cultural building in the south of Sweden. This building was a new challenge for the architects. "It represents a rare opportunity to create a new node within the city, the urban balance is changed and the neighborhood develops."



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"In Malmo, there was also the possibility to, starting from the industrial architecture of the former Electricity plant dating from the year 1900, create a new art museum with an informal and experimental character that would complement the main museum in Stockholm.", the architects comment. 


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"The greatest challenge posed by the project was the need to adapt the existing industrial brick building to current climatic and security requirements to comply with the highest international standards for art exhibition spaces."

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter  decided to create a building within a building, a contemporary addition within the existing shell. This radical reconstruction not only provided a challenge, but also gave the opportunity for something new.


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"Seen from the exterior a new extension marks the arrival of the new museum." The extension provides a new entrance to the museum where we meet a reception space, a cafeteria and a new upper gallery. "Its perforated orange façade both connects to the existing brick architecture and introduces a contemporary element to the neighbourhood. The perforated surface gives the façade a visual depth, and is animated through the dynamic shadow patterns which it creates. The ground floor is fully glazed so that sunlight is screened through the perforated façade."



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The new addition plays with scale. "From a distance it is only intelligible in comparison to the adjacent houses, only on close proximity the building and details can be read in its own right. The elimination of the standard 'middle-scale' strengthens the museum's presence in the immediate urban setting, at the same time as letting the building appear as a signal establishing a relationship with Malmö as a whole.", the architects describe.



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Inside, the building has been spatially reconstructed. Two new staircases allow the visitor to move in a loop between the grand turbine hall and the upper exhibition rooms. The staircases are each enclosed between two walls, which functions to divide the program of the turbine hall into three separate spaces, housing in addition to exhibition spaces a children's studio and a separate loading area (in fact also used for exhibitions).  



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A series of white boxes organise the interior; from the almost domestic scale of the upper gallery, to the Turbine Hall that boasts a unique space of almost eleven meters in height. Following the new regulations for exhibition spaces, Malmö Museum of Art allows artists to tailor the conditions to each individual exhibition.

Malmö Museum of Art is a "successful" example of contemporary architecture that rests in full harmony with the existing surroundings and the urban environment on the whole. New and old coexist in close contact without disturbing the picture of the post-industrial city of Malmö.

 

Conversation with Bolle Tham, Martin Videgård

A bold choice of materials in an urban setting with many historic and post-industrial buildings. Was there a moment of doubt that the new shell may not fit in the city of Malmo?

-No not really, our goal in every project is to have a contextual approach to both the cultural and physical contexts.


In general, you use color in your architecture, bright colors in fact. What the color represents for you?


- The starting point is always about something else, movement, light, scale, context etc. The importance of a building depends on how it can relate and contribute to its context. A cube, blob, triangle, sphere or any other geometrical field are just different vehicles to get there. The aim to create a clear enough architecture that invites people regardless of nationality or academic training to interpret and relate to the built spaces in many different ways.
So we do not primarily focus on form and color, they are tools among many others. In the case of the Humlegården apartment it challenges preset concepts of classical and contemporary beauty.


Light - Shadow. In Moderna Museet Malmö you play with light. What is the role of light in your architecture?

-We usually describe our architecture as a result of the relationship between light, space and movement. When designing a museum all those aspects are crucial and constitute the architecture. We often look for functionally open and general solutions that are at the same time architecturally specific and clear.

You have visited Greece before. What impression have you drawn for the urban environment of Athens?

-The first and strongest impression of Athens is the presence of the ancient city and all the historical remains. And very close to the center a surprising amount of vacant plots and recent buildings as ruins in beautiful locations. The city could be described as vibrant, dense and urban. The result of the overlapping cityplans from different periods in history, starting from the antique Greece, generates a sense of informality, a contrast to the monumental focal point of the Acropolis area.

 

Information:  Bolle Tham, Martin Videgård
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman
Editing:         Maria Papadimitriou, architect engineer

 


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Project Details

Project name:                Moderna Museet Malmö
Location:                       Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö, Sweden.

Start date:                     2008
Completion date:           2009     Public opening 26 December 2009.

Project size:                  2650 m2
Exhibition area:             925 m2

 Architects:                    Tham & Videgård Arkitekter.

Responsible Architects:   Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård.
Project Architect:            Mia Nygren.
Architects:                      Carmen Izquierdo Làzaro (Façade Architect), Helene Amundsen, Susanna Bremberg, Andreas Helgesson, 
                                        Eric Engström, Mårten Nettelbladt, Marcus Andrén, Dennis Suppers, Alina Scheutzow, Suzanne Prest, 
                                        Julia Gudiel Urbano.

Client:                             Stadsfastigheter i Malmö
User:                               Moderna Museet (Lars Nittve, Magnus Jensner, Ann-Sofi Noring, Fredrik Liew)

Contractor:                     NCC Construction

 

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