Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter completed the Kalmar Museum of Art as a result of a winning proposal in the open international competition in 2004. Situated in the City Park of the renaissance town of Kalmar, the Kalmar Museum of Art stands next to an existing restaurant pavilion dating from the 1930s, by Swedish modernist architect Sven-Ivar Lind.
The competition motto was Platform, and the conceptual idea was to create a series of open platforms for art-related activities. It also forms a structural intention for the museum, with large spans for maximum flexibility on each level, so that light and space can be transformed and adjusted in order to meet the specific needs of each exhibition.
The new museum is a black four-level cube clad with large scale wooden panels punctuated by large glazed openings.
Almost domestic in its scale this museum still provides a variety of exhibition conditions. The two main spaces are the White Box where one side can open up completely to bring in the exterior of the park, and the top floor gallery that is lit by shed head light shafts doubling its ceiling height. In addition there is a public Art Library and open Workshops.
The four floors, each different from the others, are stacked on top of each other and create a vertical walk up into the greenery of the trees with a series of different spacial experiences while offering views of the environs; the Kalmar Castle, the lake and the city centre.
One of the architectural main features is the open stair spiralling the full height of the building, starting from the new entrance lobby that interconnects between lake-side and park. It is a top lit space with all surfaces in exposed in situ cast concrete.
Photography by Åke E:son Lindman