EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is building a 1,000 square-metre extension to house the internationally significant Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation collection and archive, as well as exhibitions concentrating on contemporary design. Entitled Aukio, the space will be designed by Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari (Studio Wanderlust) and will be divided between the viewing depository and changing exhibitions.
The new viewing depository will adds more than 5,000 new objects, models, drawings, sketches, prototypes and photographs to EMMA’s collection and archives in order to reach a wider audience. In addition to Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala’s work and career, the exhibits also relate to the couple’s travels and life in general. The viewing depository works on three levels: as material objects placed on display in a space, spatially experienced digital content and as online content accessible from anywhere. The space will open to the public in November and work on preparing the digital content will continue for several years.
Studio Wanderlust’s Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari comment on the project:
“Aukio is an extremely exciting concept. The viewing depository enables the showcasing of Bryk and Wirkkala’s life’s work alongside the museum’s other key functions, such as archiving and conservation. A key feature in the architecture is the display wall, which creates a space for changing exhibitions within the viewing depository and which as a versatile mounting surface can serve as the museum’s “desktop”.
It is important for us as designers that we can create spatial solutions in collaboration with EMMA that adapt to different work methods and content in years to come. It is also a privilege to be involved in a project that creates completely new ways for a museum to operate as a cultural institution. This type of archive, which focuses on design and art as well as its many ongoing functions, is a unique and topical assignment for an architect.”
In addition to service design linked with exhibition architecture and display, digital applications, platforms and networks create new design as part of and as a new addition to design discourse. The National Board of Antiquities has supported the building of the digital programme through a grant aimed at innovative museum projects.
“Service design as an element in the spatial and exhibition design in museums is the thing right now, especially if we are to create anything new. The design task involved the collection, exhibition and customer service functions and we looked with an open mind for the ways in which to reach out to the museum customer of the future,” says Pilvi Kalhama, Director of Emma.
The changing exhibitions in the space focus on contemporary design and multidisciplinary design to instigate a dialogue between modern and contemporary design. The first temporary exhibition is STILL / LIFE – Tapio Wirkkala Retrospective, curated by designer Harri Koskinen, which showcases Tapio Wirkkala’s life and work through the eyes of a contemporary designer and Wirkkala’s colleague. Based largely on the Bryk and Wirkkala collection stored at EMMA, the retrospective has also been on display at Rovaniemi Art Museum, the Sámi Museum Siida and Seinäjoki Art Hall.
“I sought to represent Tapio’s world as widely as possible in the STILL/LIFE touring exhibition. It includes approximately 600 objects: personal items, sketches showing the design process and design objects. When a compact, curated exhibition is placed in the midst of the archive, the visitors can dig deeper in the archive into anything they find interesting in the exhibition. At Aukio, the dialogue between the exhibits and archive is really fascinating,” Harri Koskinen says.
Opening at the same time with the viewing depository, STILL / LIFE – Tapio Wirkkala Retrospective is open at EMMA until 25 March 2018.
The spatial design is based on the five entries who shared the first prize of the Sharing concept competition organised by Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation: Simon Örnberg / The Give Collection (FI), Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari / Trails (FI), Chiara Montgomerie and María Jose Orihuela / Map (UK), Emmanuel Laux and Sebastian Weindauer / Elävä Arkisto (DE), Philip Tidwell / Putting the depository on display (US). Saari and Brummer have been commissioned to design the spatial solution based on the winning concepts.
The public will be able to see the final design on 17 November 2017 at the grand opening party. Part of the official Finland 100 centenary programme, the registration for the opening party is open throughout the year on EMMA website: http://emma.museum/brykwirkkala
Press images: https://kuvat.emma.museum/kuvat/Lehdistokuvat-Press/Aukio/
Henna Paunu, Chief Curator, EMMA
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Iia Palovaara, Communications Coordinator, EMMA
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Further infomation on the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation:
Petra Wirkkala, Assistant, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation
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EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of Finland’s central art museums. Located in Tapiola, Espoo, EMMA’s collection and exhibition programme profiles Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art as well as design. EMMA’s exhibition spaces – the largest in Finland – are situated in the architecturally impressive WeeGee building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. The modern architecture adds to the experience-focused presentation of the changing exhibitions and permanent collections of EMMA, the Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.
Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk were an artist-designer couple working on many sides of design and visual arts. They related to new technology with an open mind, and aimed constantly to widen the field of design through innovation. Wirkkala and Bryk were also convinced to help the progress of design education. The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation aims to hold on to this optimistic spirit and to further the evolution of the design field together with universities and other institutions offering design education.