Amos Rex Art Museum – JKMM Architects book is out now

June 16, 2021

The new book published by the Swedish Arvinius + Orfeus, is an in-depth study of one of the most exciting and innovative museum buildings of our times. Amos Rex has set a new standard for what an art museum can be. It has redefined the museum as a space for exhibitions and social interaction, at the same time as presenting a powerful architectural experience audaciously placed in the centre of Helsinki.

By situating large galleries underground, JKMM Architects have in one fell swoop managed to revitalise adjacent squares, incorporated one of the city’s most historic buildings, the Glass Palace from 1936, into the museum, and created opportunities to manage all kinds of art. After five years of planning and construction, the museum opened its doors in 2018 and has since broken visitor records several times over.

Lars Nittve, vice chairman of Royal Institute of Art and previously director of Tate Modern in London and M+ in Hong Kong, writes in one of the essays of the book:

There is a focus on the art throughout the whole museum. The building, the rooms, form a crucial tool for the core purpose of the art museum – the meaningful, satisfying meeting between the artworks and us viewers.”

Nittve emphasises Amos Rex as one of few novel museums that succeeds in both welcoming the visitors and creating exceptional conditions for exhibition activities.

The architect and architecture critic Tomas Lauri points, in another of the essays in the book, at the fact that the museum develops a tradition that began with Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto, where organic forms and nature are key to looking into the future. He writes:

It’s unusual to encounter a design idiom which can be described as coming straight from science fiction at the same time as it simply feels exactly right.”

In an in-depth conversation between the lead architect of the museum, Asmo Jaaksi at JKMM, and the director of the museum, Kai Kartio, the entire story from the first sketch to moving in and the exhibitions is told.

The book about Amos Rex is the first in the series New Nordic Architecture. Each book presents a contemporary pioneering work in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Iceland, and goes into depths with the architects behind it. Focus is on buildings that have developed an architectural area, for example through aesthetic, ecological or humanistic approaches.

The Amos Rex Art Museum – JKMM Architects book is now available at Amos Rex Shop.

You can watch a new film about the Museum done by Tapio Snellman on JKMM’s Vimeo.

Book facts:
Publisher – Arvinius + Orfeus
Language – English
Text – Gunvor Kronman, Tomas Lauri, Lars Nittve
Editor – Tomas Lauri
Graphic design – WAAITT
No of pages – 120
Format – 190 x 250 mm
Binding – Hardcover
Publication date – May 2021