A concept called Silmu (leaf bud) has won the international Ruusupuisto design competition that sought entries for developing a structure between the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, in the city of Jyväskylä.
A team of five young Finnish architects won the prize money of €14,000, announced on the birthday of Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto on 3 February.
The competition was held between 29 June and 30 October 2015, was for the design of an extension connecting the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, and the surrounding outdoor area in the Ruusupuisto park.
Articulation of outdoor areas required the design to integrate the area in front of the museums with the entire structure, so as to improve the shared use and functionality of the premises.
The extension would serve as a connecting gateway, a shared museum shop, and a technical space for a range of functions and collaborations.
City of Jyväskylä real estate planning manager Ulla Rannanheimo said: "The new connecting section was required to create natural, multifaceted joint access by the museums, for instance, to the cafeteria, auditorium and the museums' meeting, workshop and teaching spaces.
"Another requirement was integrating the outdoor spaces seamlessly into the open space of Ruusupuisto, so that the end result will eventually be an integrated Ruusupuisto area."
Silmu was chosen, from 689 entries that made to the competition, for its integrated approach that flowed with the original architecture of the museums and for the idea's technical and economic feasibility.
The competition jury termed Silmu 'a diamond in the rough' and praised its 'delicate yet powerful form language'.
Alvar Aalto Foundation director Tommi Lindh said: "The high-end entries stand out from the rest with their clear, striking ideas and formal properties.
"The best things about Silmu were its atmosphere and the subtle contours. It was also seen as adding an extra, tranquil element between the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, while further increasing the functionality of the outdoor spaces."
Another Finnish group won second prize for their concept Kannel (kantele or zither in Finnish), and Australian-Spanish SMAR Architecture Studio received the third prize.
Image: Silmu was chosen from 689 entries that made to the competition. Photo: courtesy of Alvar Alto Foundation.