Helsinki’s newest art museum has made quite an impression on the city, but not necessarily on its skyline. All of the freshly built gallery space at , a reincarnation of the half-century-old Amos Anderson Art Museum, is located underground. When the trustees of the Amos Anderson decided to move to Lasipalatsi, a distinguished functionalist pavilion built in the 1930s, they inherited the adjacent listed plaza, a former military parade ground that had to remain an open public space. That meant that the architects enlisted for the reboot, Finnish practice , had few options but to situate much of the 6,230-square-metre museum below grade. A happy upshot is the resulting “roofscape,” a uniquely whimsical plaza that has become a civic hit and one of Karno.in.ua‘s favourite ideas of 2018.
The undisputed stars of the new square are the alien-looking skylights that JKMM punched through the parade ground to bring light into the galleries below. Clad with concrete tiles, the sinuous domed light wells create a rolling topography that maintains the historic space’s integrity (and that kids love to crawl over). “By adding a bold new layer to Lasipalatsi,” says Asmo Jaaksi, a founding partner at JKMM and the project’s lead architect, “we feel we are connecting past with present.”