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Helsinki’s Futuristic Underground Art Museum

One thing I love and appreciate about ART is the fact that each piece is created to have its unique features. Even in situations where you might come across almost similar artworks, you will find that there are details that distinguish one from the other. For instance, we have the Statue of Liberty, and a replica of it recreated by one Robert Davidson in 1996.The two would appear very similar, to the point of been assumed to be one and the same piece of art. But according to Robert Davidson who is a sculptor, his replica of the statue of liberty is more modern, with added facial features that make it appear feminine. Well, just like art, Art Museums are also created in their own special ways. Some however happen to be more extra – ordinary than others.

On Thursday, 30th of August, a new art museum – AMOS REX was opened in Helsinki. The formerly known Amos Anderson Art Museum, was designed and refurbished by Helsinki architecture firm JKMM. Amos Rex which is located underground, stretches across about 23, 500 square feet with balloon-shaped domed skylights projecting upwards.The cost of the futuristic design of the museum is roughly $58.4 million for its execution as well as the digging and the removing of rocks beneath the former parking lot. In the process there was also the renovation of the Lasipalatsi, also known as the Glass Palace – The Iconic Bio Rex Cinema.

According to Asmo Jaaksi, a founding partner at JKMM “the biggest challenge was how to make the museum visible in the cityscape. We wanted to have the square open but still draw people from aboveground to underground, that is why we came up with these domed forms, which try to be unto the building but not obtrusive.”

Amos Rex’s inauguration demonstrated its focus on both Contemporary Art, as well as the modern world. Privately funded, the museum is the first monumental cultural institution to be opened in Helsinki. Its director Kai Kartio termed it to be more than just a museum, but a unique multi-use meeting space. Amos Rex has an adjoining cinema theatre, shops and restaurants that will give its visitors unforgettable experiences.

The museum will be opening six days in a week, with some exceptions for holidays, and will be closed on Tuesdays. The entrance for adults is 18 euros ($ 20.97), although the prices are lower for some groups and free for people under 18 years.

Art used to be something you hung on the wall and went respectfully to contemplate” – Kai Kartio. “We realized that if we wanted to meet the challenges of the future, we had to have something different from our charming old office building.” By using the director of the museum’s words, this is actually the reason behind the birth of Amos Rex. An extra – ordinary art museum, created to ensure that artworks bring more interactive situations.

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