National Museum of Finland Extension Helsinki Building News, JKMM Architects Finnish Architectural Competition

National Museum of Finland Extension in Helsinki

17 July 2020

National Museum of Finland Extension in Helsinki News

Finland investing in Culture Post-Covid19

National Museum of Finland goes in for Outline Planning after announcement to build a new Architecture Design Museum in Helsinki

National Museum of Finland Extension, Helsinki

In December 2019, JKMM Architects were selected as the winners of the two-stage design competition to extend the National Museum of Finland. JKMM’s entry named “Atlas” will create a 6300 square metre addition to the Museum with a new entrance, exhibition spaces and a garden restaurant.

National Museum of Finland Extension, Helsinkibuilding by JKMM Architects

Located in Helsinki the Museum’s existing listed early 19th century building by Gesellius, Lindgren, Saarinen is one of Finland’s most important architectural landmarks and an internationally significant exemplar of the National Romantic style. The building is located in the centre of the city diagonally opposite Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia Hall.

Atlas Helsinki building by JKMM Architects

The first phase in the realisation of the Museum’s extension has now begun as “Atlas” has been submitted for outline planning permission. The project is part of the Finnish Government’s plan of works together with the recently announced commitment to also build a new Architecture and Design Museum in Helsinki. Both projects are due to complete and open to the public in 2025 and are an important indication of Finland’s on-going investment in culture during its post-pandemic recovery period.

National Museum of Finland Extension Helsinki building section


It was important to JKMM that the new addition to the National Museum of Finland is independent of the original building and that it respects the surrounding listed garden designed by Lindgren. The freestanding sculptural quality of “Atlas” addresses these concerns by creating a pavilion-like structure in keeping with traditions of building types found in parkland settings.

The round disc-shaped white concrete roof that appears to float over structural glass within the stone walled garden of the Museum is, in fact, so simple, geometric and even primeval in its form that it has an instantly universal appeal.

Atlas National Museum of Finland Extension Helsinki building sketch

JKMM founding partner Samuli Miettinen describes the practice’s approach,
“The National Museum is a place that belongs to everyone and anyone in Finland and we thought its extension’s architectural form should be universally understood yet encourage multiple interpretations.”

National Museum of Finland Extension, Helsinki building layout

Underneath the cantilevered concrete roof, a new ground floor restaurant will face the sunniest aspect of the garden. Its walls are made of structural glass that curve around the extension creating a sense of a floating roof as well as introducing natural light to the floors below, where a generous protected stepped “public square” welcomes visitors and leads them to the new exhibition galleries and other spaces.

National Museum of Finland Extension Helsinki sketch

The white colour of “Atlas” is a nod to Aalto’s Finlandia Hall just visible from the site. It is also a way to introduce light into the streetscape particularly amidst the darkness of Finnish winter.

New National Museum of Finland Extension, Helsinki building design by JKMM Architects

In total, “Atlas” spans over 6300 square metres which includes 1200 square metres of exhibition space. The new exhibition galleries can also function as events spaces accommodating over 1000 visitors.

National Museum of Finland Extension Helsinki section


The National Museum of Finland, Salomonkatu 17 B, Helsinki, Uusimaa 00100 Finland

Location: Helsinki, Finland, north east Europe

Finnish Architecture

Finnish Architecture Design – chronological list

13 June 2019
National Museum of Finland’s new annex design – Finalists
National Museum of Finland New Annex Building
photo courtesy of The National Museum of Finland
National Museum of Finland New Annex Building

New Finnish Architecture – selection:

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Rovaniemi, northern Finland
Design: Studio Puisto Architects
Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi
photograph : Marc Goodwin (Archmospheres)
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi

Pyramid House, Sysmä, Finland
Architect: VOID Architecture
Pyramid House in Sysma
photograph : Timo Laaksonen
House in Sysmä

Alvar Aalto Time Lapse, Jyvaskyla, central Finland
Design: Matteo Cainer Architects
Alvar Aalto Time Lapse
image Courtesy architecture office
Alvar Aalto Time Lapse in Jyvaskyla

Saamelaiskulttuurikeskus Sajos, Inari, northern part of Finnish Lapland
Design: Halo Arkkitehdit with M3 Architects
Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos Finland
photograph : Mika Huisman
Sámi Cultural Centre Building

Samppalinna Outdoor Pool, Turku, south west Finland
Design: Mikko Lemmetti, Head Designer at LEMMETTI architects
Samppalinna Outdoor Pool
photograph © Aki Aro
Samppalinna Outdoor Pool

Periscope Tower in Seinäjoki, Southern Ostrobothnia
Design: OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture
Periscope Tower Seinäjoki building
photo © Anssi Lassila
Periscope Tower in Seinäjoki

Alvar Aalto Museum Building

New Architecture and Design Museum Complex in Helsinki

Finland Architects

Finnish Architecture

Finnish Architect Offices

Finnish Houses

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Website: Visit Finland