The National Museum of Finland
VALOA Design Ltd
Roope Siiroinen & VALOA design team
Helsinki, Finland, Finland
The National Museum building was designed by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. The building was constructed mainly 1905-1910 and the museum was opened to the public in 1916. With its granite façade and soapstone decorations, it is one of the main works of Finnish National romantic architecture.
The visual appearance of National Museum lighting is dignified and subdued. The concept was a winner in a design competition. The lighting focuses on the visibility of the building in the busy cityscape and it creates a feeling that the building breathes and is alive even when the museum is closed.
The lighting separates the masses of the building; granite, warm-toned surfaces, and the windows. The impressiveness is thus created from the building itself and from the contrast of granite’s light-shadow ratio. The identity of the building is thoughtfully highlighted with the logo of the museum.
In the main entrance, the light creates a flooding touch which is created with reflections and window lights. In the central view, the tower is highlighted. Discrete play of light and shadow and the ratios of warm and cold give the main role for the architecture.