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Competition: Tampere Art Museum, Finland

The City of Tampere in Finland has launched an open international competition for a cost-neutral expansion of its historic art museum (Deadline: 27 March)

The single-stage competition seeks conceptual ideas to enlarge the 1838 building, believed to be the city’s third oldest building.

Entries will also need to propose a strategy for regenerating nearby Pyynikki Square, currently a car park, and delivering new residential, commercial and office space to fund the expansion.



Source: Image by visa580

Tampere Art Museum

According to the brief: ‘The purpose of the competition is to find an architecturally high-quality solution to extending Tampere Art Museum, which balances aesthetic, functional, technical, economic and sustainable factors. The competition will develop spatial starting points for bringing museum activities under one roof, and improving the attractiveness and visibility of its art collections through impressive architecture.

‘The competition also seeks functional ideas for a high-quality and viable redevelopment of Pyynikki Square. Designs should improve the general look of the square by reorganising the regional market activities. A key starting point will be the relocation of parking to an underground facility beneath the square.’

The museum building, designed by CL Engel, was originally built in 1838 as a granary. It was converted into an art gallery in 1931. The venue is currently home to a ground-floor exhibition called Moominvalley, featuring art works and models by Moomin creator Tove Jansson.

Earlier this year, the City of Tampere launched a separate competition to masterplan its waterfront Hiedanranta district. A winner will be announced shortly and images of all the entries are now available online.

The winner of the Tampere Art Museum contest will receive around €70,000 and the design contract. There will also be a second prize of approximately €45,000; third prize of €30,000 and two honourable mentions worth €15,000 each.

Applications may be drawn up in English or Finnish.

How to apply


The deadline for submissions is 3pm local time on 27 March.

Contact details

City of Tampere
Garden Street 6
PO Box 487
FI-33101 Tampere

View the contract notice for more information

Saint Louis Art Museum case study: Q&A with David Chipperfield Architects

The London practice discusses lessons learned expanding the Saint Louis Art Museum in Missouri, USA

How did your East Building project expand the Saint Louis Art Museum while enhancing its existing landscape?

The new East Building presents a stripped down façade respectful of its neighbouring building. The Cass Gilbert original remains the focal point of the park. It steps out and back in four directions from one point, keeping its visual impact on the immediate surroundings and its wider environment to a minimum. The single-storey pavilion sits on a low plinth that reconciles the topography of the park while also aligning its internal level to the main floor of the Gilbert building, facilitating a transition between old and new. Four large floor-to-ceiling windows provide views towards the Grand Basin, the park and the newly landscaped garden. This landscaping is an important aspect of the project and features a new arrival, a forecourt and sculpture gardens that blend into Forest Park.

Saint Louis

Saint Louis

Source: Image by Simon Menges

Saint Louis Art Museum extension by David Chipperfield Architects

Which architectural, material and other considerations are important when expanding an existing landmark art museum?

Each project presents its own challenges and there aren’t fixed rules. No two projects are the same and we always look to the context for guidance. However, it can be important to bear in mind that the expansion should not be perceived as an extension; rather as part of a bigger museum. It needs to feel like the same building, not necessarily stylistically, but it should not feel like an add-on. Another key facet of expansion involves building the relationship with an institution’s community, finding new ways to reach out and bring people in across the threshold, which is sometimes seen to be an intimidating barrier.

Saint Louis

Saint Louis

Source: Image by Simon Menges

Saint Louis Art Museum extension by David Chipperfield Architects