Position: Project Architect - Team Leader
Firm: WVA Architects - CN
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Size: 14 000 sqm | 150 000 sqft
The Ark of Art - Named for its ship-like structure, this design splits its envelope between counterpointing materials: a wooden façade facing the sea, and a copper façade facing the city. Both of these materials are commonly used in Finnish construction, and both act as a brise-soleil. The exposed Finnish Larch ribs of the seaside envelope are spaced for maximum access to indirect sunlight. The uncommon appearance of the exterior makes the design a landmark of the city, and a major site for pedestrian traffic. To accommodate this, the sidewalks and bike paths are widened, as well as a footbridge over the adjacent roadway, connecting the museum to the nearby park.
The Ark is set on a podium that holds conference rooms and other administrative functions for the building. Upon entering, visitors find that the gallery levels are terraced back from the sea, allowing for uninterrupted views of the ocean and the Helsinki skyline. A restaurant on the rooftop museum gives a similar, if not more spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding city.