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Museum of History and The Future

Location: Turku, Finland.

Date: Sep 2023 - Jan 2024

Typology: Culture, Landscape

Size: 8.500 sqm

Status: International Competition

Client: City of Turku,, Finnish Association os Architects.


A direct interconnection from the galleries to the obvious history of the city, acting as an exhibition mechanism.

The city of Turku has always been a historical reference in the natural evolution of the country. Its strong history and strategic geographical location have marked the historical course, not only of the city itself and its immediate geographical influence, but also of the country itself and its surrounding borders.

For this reason, the new museum of history and future of Turku must highlight this history and evolution. The project is located on a plot of complex characteristics, due to its location and the new projected urban planning. The plot, surrounded by numerous building volumes of various typologies and uses, is in direct relationship with the sea and its most natural environment. The new building must fit into this amalgamation of such different urban situations.

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Exterior view

Urban planning is proposed to collapse the plot intended for the museum through a large elevated plinth, leaving a large open esplanade for access to it. This urban space is delimited by the historic buildings that will be converted into differentiated uses and a newly designed pier, in such a way that natural access to the building, both on foot, boat and vehicle, is carried out through said urban void, which gives splendor to the entire museum area.

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Exterior view. Main Access

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The museum has a very specific and marked theme, past and future History. It is for this reason that the building must enter into relationship with the urban elements that have marked the history of the city and indirectly of the country itself. To establish this relationship, of the museum with history, we identify those elements of the city that, for one reason or another, have a historical character and have served, at some point in their life, as elements that served as the evolution of the city.

We will link these elements visually and geometrically to the building through large windows that open and look outside, as if they were paintings. This is when the building acquires a circular geometry to be able to establish this relationship with the entire urban environment and differentiate that curved geometry from the exhibition rooms, with the linear walls of the windows. These paintings frame the historical elements of the city and are a direct part of the exhibition.

Exterior view. From the sea

The building, with a configuration of elements juxtaposed and tangent to each other through cylindrical spaces, is configured and placed around a large central void in the shape of an atrium. This void runs the entire height of the building, welcoming the museum and serving as a public distribution space for the different parts of the museum. With this we establish a very limited public route framed between the two cylinders of the building.

We wanted to have a very clear and precise vertical communications system which runs through the entire length of the building, providing immediate service to all spaces, depending on their most private, public or technical use.

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Interior view. Atrio

Interior view

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The rooms of the building acquire a circular configuration, as an identity of the city's history. This non-linear configuration means that the exhibition rooms have a very strong spatial richness, and can be subdivided into up to 5 differentiated rooms with different sizes in the case of the permanent exhibition and three in the temporary exhibition. Likewise, an internal connection is established between the two exhibitions, in case it were the case of creating a single exhibition space. By having different room configuration possibilities, various route options can also be generated spatially, some being more linear and others more landscape-like. With these configurations, both in plan and in section of the exhibition rooms, the aim is to make the visit to the museum a differentiated, enjoyable and fluid experience, where many spatial situations appear, radically escaping from the marked stereotypes of rooms. rectangular rooms of the large museums, which reach a limit of boredom

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Gallery 1

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Gallery 3

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Gallery 2

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Gallery 4

The central void of the atrium is made up of three differentiated elements, an interior cylinder which is covered with a pixelated metallic skin with LED elements, which will serve as a large interactive screen, serving as an exhibition element of the future. The second element is the exterior skin, made of colored in situ concrete and between them the large ramp that gives access to the different spaces. Between both cylinders there will be exhibition elements printed on the walls, to be able to visualize the history of Turku and Finland while walking along said ramp.

 Talking about materiality, externally, the building, due to its complex geometry of differentiated volumes, acquires a simpler appearance through only two materials. The first material is the one that covers the entire opaque skin of the building from two types of ceramic pieces white to reflect the different shades of the sky. The second material, linked to those large transparent frames is a blue metallic skin that intertwines two circular patterns. This double skin will help us identify the connection with the historical elements and as a protective element from the sun towards the interior of the building.

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