North Jutland Art Museum
Built from 1968 to 1972, the museum was designed by one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, Alvar Aalto, with his wife Elissa, as a showcase of 20th-century Danish and international art.
Af Kirsten Kiser
The North Jutland Art Museum is a prime example of modern Scandinavian architecture, and to this day, Aalto continues to have a profound influence both within his native country of Finland and internationally.
The North Jutland Art Museum, situated on the edge of a large area of parks and woodland, rises like a ziggurat to meet the adjoining hillside. The clean lines of the marble-clad building volumes, and the green copper roofs, blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings.
On the ground level the central exhibition gallery, and an adjoining sculpture gallery, are surrounded by a series of long sky-lit galleries, seven smaller exhibition rooms, a chamber music room, the entrance hall, and the administration offices. Additional exhibition rooms, a café, cloakroom, lecture rooms, a study group room, a workshop, and a library are located on the lower ground floor.
True architecture exists only where man stands in the center.
— Alvar Aalto
Because of a highly flexible mobile wall system, the exhibition spaces can accommodate the requirements of each individual exhibition.
Natural and diffused light enters the galleries from a variety of skylights, confirming Alvar Aalto’s brilliant manipulation of the Nordic light. The white Carrara marble covering most of the floor areas adds to the light and airy feeling in the galleries.
The building also features a children’s museum and an outdoor amphitheater.
The attention to detail and the use of solid natural materials — marble, wood, copper, and glass — in addition to the superb craftsmanship make the building unmistakably Aalto.
Like all great art, Aalto’s architecture has the power to evoke a feeling, and the right to its own place in the world’s cultural heritage.