Museum Serlachius

A new building is to meet the needs of the Serlachius Museum’s growing art collection. The current museum building originally served as the home of paper mill patron Gösta Serlachius. This monumental manor house holds a central position in the surrounding park landscape. From here, hedges and tree-lined paths radially stretch out into the landscape, towards the water. Footpaths following the shape of the shoreline connect these axis. Where the four main landscape lines intersect, the entrance to the new museum building is situated. An elongated volume stretching out along the lawn between the manor house and the lake, the new building reinforces the relation between the villa and the water. Still, standing amidst the trees, it will never dominate the views. The new building contrasts and complements the solid monumentality of the original manor house and adds a contemporary layer to the rich cultural heritage of the site.


Entering the museum, a light and open entrance hall serves as the link between all parts of the complex. From this space, the collection, the temporary exhibitions, the auditorium, the cloakroom and the restaurant are easily reached. Taking advantage of the natural slope, the grand exhibition hall is placed on a lower level. The sequence of exhibition rooms form a circular route that guides the visitor through the building and offer a variation of spatial qualities and light conditions. Occasionally, window openings frame and highlight views of the surrounding landscape.


Clad in vertical wooden battens in a rhythmic pattern with varying density, the façade blends in with its forest setting. Along the gently sloping ramp towards the lawn a large panorama window evokes the experience of a walk in the park. On the forest side a few smaller openings frame specific views. The semi-transparent facade lights up like a lantern at night, and provides for a warm welcome at evening lectures and gatherings. Interior surfaces are massive and sustainable; oiled wooden floors, white painted walls and glass are dominant.


design year: 2012 I size: 4500m2 I location: Mäntää Finland I client: Museum Serlachius