This extension functionally and programmatically connects the existing Kuopio Museum of Cultural History, the Museum of Natural History, and the library. The Design is based on a reflection of urban structure and cityscape combined with specific building preservation and functionality questions. The objectives of the project’s diverse starting points are embodied in the new museum extension. The new part forms a gate – the entrance to a new kind of museum and cultural complex. The Kuopio Museum is a historically listed building designed by J. V. Strömberg and was completed in 1907. To restore it to its original character, the fire department wing from the 1960s was demolished.
Openings in the building’s western façade and the shop of the tower were also restored. A new construction entrance hall connects to the original museum’s main exhibition spaces, the adjacent library building (designer Matti Hakala, 1967), and a new space for changing exhibitions. The addition removes the existing boundary between the museum and the library.
In connection with the lobby, there are customer service facilities, a museum shop, educational spaces, and a museum café on the site of the former fire station equipment hall. The original museum exhibition spaces are now accessed through the new exhibition hall. The temporary exhibition space, located in the extension immediately above the entrance, can be separated from the other museum spaces as needed. This windowless “black box” exhibition space is uninterrupted by structure and is equipped with the latest exhibition technology.
The museum’s workspaces, photography, and exhibition design are located on the third floor of the extension. Loading, storage, and exhibition construction facilities are located in the basement. In the cityscape, the extension is an independent piece of architecture in a historically layered block. The exhibition building rises between the lavish architecture of the early 20th century and the disciplined, structured architecture of the 1960s in this new cultural quarter. The white, reticulated façades of the exhibition building, which hover over the glass entrance floor, create a contemporary, light architectural impression.