A starting point was that a new art museum, a public and cultural building, represents a rare opportunity to create a new node within the city, the urban balance is changed and the neighborhood develops. In Malmö, in the south of Sweden, 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.
Location: Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö, Sweden.
Start date: 2008
Completion date: 2010 Public opening 26 December 2009.
Project size: 2650 m2
Exhibition area: 925 m2
Architect: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter.
Chief 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, Ann-Sofi Noring, Fredrik Liew)
Contractor: NCC Construction
The greatest challenge posed by the project, (in addition to the demanding eighteen-month time limit from sketch-design to inauguration), 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. It soon became clear that in reality what was needed was 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.
Seen from the exterior a new extension marks the arrival of the new museum. The extension provides a new entrance and reception space, as well as 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.
In relation to its context, 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.
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).
As in Kalmar Art Museum, we have been committed to providing exhibition spaces which allow artists and curators to tailor the conditions to each individual exhibition. Moderna museet Malmö (Malmö Museum of Art) offers a series of white boxes; from the almost domestic scale of the upper gallery, to the Turbine Hall that boasts a unique space of almost eleven meters in height.
Tham & Videgård are based in Stockholm, Sweden, and directed by co-founders and lead architects Bolle Tham (b.1970) and Martin Videgård (b.1968). Since the start in 1999 the practice has attracted attention for its experimental approach and innovative built works. Tham & Videgårds projects has won several national and international awards, and twice the Kasper Salin Prize, most recently in 2015 for the new KTH School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
Other major and award winning works include the Kalmar Museum of Art (Kasper Salin Prize 2008), the Moderna Museet Malmö (for the Swedish Museum of Modern Art), Västra Kajen housing, the House Lagnö, the Creek House, and the Tree Hotel in Harads.
Tham & Videgård has gained opportunities to work abroad and is regularly invited to participate in international exhibitions; the 12th, 13th and 15th International Venice Architecture Biennales, a monographic exhibition at La Galerie d´Architecture in Paris, at the Lisbon Triennale, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London UK and at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. In 2017 the Spanish publisher El Croquis presented the fifth monograph to date on the work of Tham & Videgård in issue no188 Dualities and Singularities.
Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård are members of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and teach and lecture at schools of architecture in Sweden and abroad. In 2014-2015 they were invited guest professors at the PBSA Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf, Germany. Tham & Videgård have lectured at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam (NL), ETH Zürich (CH), École Spéciale d’Architecture and the Pavillion de l’Arsenal, Paris (FR), the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture, London (UK), the Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in Cambridge and at the IIT, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (USA).