Skissernas Museum Extension

Culture

Skissernas Museum Extension, Elding Oscarson
Åke Eson Lindman
 

Skissernas Museum, the “museum of sketches”, contains the world’s largest collection of sketches; it focuses on the artistic process itself through the extensive 80-year collection of art historian Ragnar Josephson.

Af Catherine Langer

The new extension to the Skissernas Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art in Lund, Sweden is a project by Stockholm-based architect Elding Oscarson.

The new buildings function as the museum’s entrance and contain a gift shop as well as a restaurant that opens out with an outdoor terrace to a sculpture park. As the new main entrance, the extension lets the former entrance building from 1959 integrate itself directly into its new volume as a shop and reception area. In addition to the new buildings, an inner courtyard in the existing museum is covered to create the new Birgit Rausing Hall.

The existing Skissernas Museum is a cluster of buildings from six different periods, which have all been connected into one. The gradually growing collection of buildings is an important part of the museum’s identity, and a challenge for future extensions of the museum to respond to.

The new museum extension adapts to the existing surroundings by changing its height and shape. The double-height foyer is the tallest building in the project, as it relates to the existing, massive museum building next to it. Meanwhile, the restaurant behind it is kept in a small scale to complement a more recent museum extension by Johan Celsing from 2005, which again is kept low to avoid intervening with the views from a past extension.

While the existing museum cluster created a closed block towards the existing sculpture park behind it, the new museum extension shifts the way the museum meets the park. Behind the front foyer building, the lower restaurant building releases itself from the street grid and curves itself into the park space, opening up into a south-facing terrace. In that way, a new flow is created all the way from the street, through the museum and towards the park, where restaurant visitors can enjoy their meal outside.

The grand covered courtyard space, the Birgit Rausing Hall, is constructed with a soaring 27-meter roof that expands between the existing courtyard buildings with great height variations on all sides. The plate of mirroring aluminum roof rests on four columns and is a modern contrast to the surrounding courtyard buildings, whose facades have kept their original appearance. The hall is surrounded by clerestory light, resulting in a light, high-ceilinged space that seems to be neither indoor nor outdoor.

The Corten steel paneling of the new building goes well with the roughness of the raw concrete of the existing museum and the brick architecture of the nearby university campus. Yet the steel’s sharp detailing contrasts with the concrete’s roughness, which makes the new building stand out against the existing. With time, the Corten steel will gradually evolve and change its character, as does the artistic process.

The façade windows are playfully yet carefully arranged in the facades to get particular views from, into and through the extension buildings. The floating window layout creates multiple views across the rooms and towards the park, as artworks on a wall. The many views between interior and exterior also make the buildings seem more transparent without necessarily using large glass facades.

Inside, the museum is arranged as a sequence of light spaces with walls and ceiling in birch plywood. All furniture in the restaurant, foyer, and shop is designed by Elding Oscarson. The furniture design deliberately references the unfinished character of a prototype, or sketch, through the atmosphere of the museum.

All in all, the new museum extension adds valuable experiences, contrasts, and meetings to the existing context, while staying in the spirit of the “museum of sketches”. As an open and transparent space, it furthermore creates new connections between museum, park, and city.

The project has been awarded the 2017 Kasper Salin Prize and the 2017 Lund City Construction Prize.