The Rays - Ruusupuisto Design Competition - Shortlisted

This design was submitted for the international Ruusupuisto design competition in Finland, 2015. The competition sought solutions that would connect and integrate two masterpieces by the architect Alvar Aalto – the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland – and develop the area around the museums in Jyväskylä’s Ruusupuisto park.

Five concrete rays, arranged on a radial grid, form the structure and shape of Amos Goldreich Architecture’s proposed building.

Full-height glazing forms the facades and roof between the radii, lending a quality of transparency to the building and flooding it with natural light, whilst also creating a spatial neutrality in the transition between the two museums.

The palette of other materials is restricted to the three used in Aalto’s buildings - concrete, wood and brass, which are employed in a contemporary way in The Rays.

The proposed design aims to create a transition between the two established Aalto buildings along the North-South axis, while slotting into the currently unbuilt site to provide a dignified, attractive and practical building that enhances Jyväskylä Ruusupuisto and defines itself as the access to the museum complex through either entrance on the East-West axis.

In order to connect the Alvar Aalto Museum (+88.9 metres) and the ground floor level of the Museum of Central Finland (+87.5m), while maintaining a visual and physical connection from East to West, a U-shaped 17m length ramp is placed parallel to the Aalto Museum’s north wall. Beneath the ramp, a space has been created for the technical and storage rooms that are linked to the Aalto Museum at level +85.7m. Natural light and ventilation are achieved through light wells on the western side of the space.

The museum shop occupies the entire ground floor, providing a continuous space which mediates between the two different museum buildings. Bespoke shelves that hang from the roof beams display merchandise as well as the computer workstations. The floating shelves are designed to aesthetically enhance the visitors’ experience and highlight the Aalto range on sale; they minimise clutter and can be reconfigured easily to allow for future flexibility in the use of space.

The jury commented:

"Amos Goldreich Architecture's concept is structurally strong and clear, and has skilfully exploited themes favoured by Alvar Aalto, in particular the fan-like composition and the creation of an interior space with the feel of an exterior space."