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Kalmar Museum of Art, Kalmar, Sweden

Tuesday 30 Jun 2009

Cubic dimension

Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter 
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Award Entry

Kalmar's art museum serves as a platform for artists and amateurs alike 

The Kalmar Museum of Art is the result of a winning proposal in the open international competition in 2004 and was inaugurated on the 10th of May 2008. Situated in the City Park of the renaissance town of Kalmar, it is built next to a restaurant pavilion dating from the 1930s by Swedish modernist architect Sven-Ivar Lind.

The competition motto was Platform, also the conceptual idea of this museum; a series of open platforms for art related activities. It is also how the museum is constructed, large spans for maximum flexibility, so that not only light but also space can be transformed and adjusted to meet the specific needs of each exhibition.

The black four-level cube is clad with large scale wooden panels and punctuated by large glazed openings. It houses both the Kalmar collection of modern art as well as spaces for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, videos, performances and concerts. Almost domestic in its scale this museum still provides a variety of exhibition conditions. The two main spaces are the white box where one side can open up completely to bring in the exterior of the park, and the top floor gallery that is lit by shed head light shafts doubling its ceiling height. In addition there is a public art library and open workshops.

An open stair spirals the full height of the building, starting from the new entrance lobby that interconnects between lake-side and park. It is a top lit space with all surfaces in exposed in situ cast concrete. Four floors, each different from the others, are stacked on top of each other and create a vertical walk up into the greenery of the trees and different spacial experiences, while offering views of the environs, the Kalmar castle, the Baltic sea and the old city centre.

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Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter

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