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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Galleri Örsta in Kumla, Sweden by Claesson Koivisto Rune

October 15th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Claesson Koivisto Rune

A gallery for modern art, placed in a field. The whole gallery building shines like a traffic sign, when seen from a certain angle.

The gallery building

The new gallery building creates a ‘hamlet’ with the adjacent old farmhouses and the owners’ house, together representing three centuries of building tradition. Positioned on top of an artificial hill, as a buffer to the site’s moist soil, the base of the building follows the hill’s topology. The resulting series of curves at the building’s base, combined with mirroring curves in the rooflines, makes the planar facades seem curved – a bit like ‘cinemascope’ screens.

Gallery Exterior View (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

  • Architect: Claesson Koivisto Rune
  • Name of Project: Galleri Örsta
  • Location: Kumla, Sweden
  • Project: art gallery building
  • Client: Birgitta and Anders Fasth
  • Photography: Claesson koivisto Rune, Peter Mabeo, P Lindell

Gallery Exterior View (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

  • Design: 2009
  • Construction: 2010
  • Project team: Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto, Ola Rune, Deta Gemzell, Kumi Nakagaki, Jaime Montes
  • Structure/Materials: concrete block masonry walls, stucco with integrated reflective glass beads.
  • Total floor area: 350 m2

Gallery Exterior View (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

The exterior facades

The facades have been painted white and, while still wet, three tons of special reflective glass beads were applied. The glass bead treatment, developed by artist Mikael Pauli, works in a similar way to the reflective component in zebra crossings. If viewed from the same angle as the incident light source, it glows as if lit from within. So, when driving by the building, it appears to flash brightly for a moment.

Night View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

This effect can also be recreated during night. If the building falls into the path of car headlights or, as in the attached photos, where two 150 watt lamps – one red, one blue coloured – light the façade from different angles. (We would like to stress that the images have NOT been adjusted via Photoshop or other image manipulation programs).

The relatively narrow door and window openings, stretching from ground to roofline, make the building’s scale difficult to judge. Appearing smaller at a distance, yet up close it rises to a height of 6.7 metres.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

The interior

The elevated position of the gallery building raises the floor level to the same height as the tops of the surrounding crop growth. The interior is divided in to four differently sized galleries connected with both central cross access and complete side circulation. The non-rectilinear placement of some of the walls produces the variation in room sizes together with a subtle spatial tension, without interfering with the art-viewing experience. Furthermore, the walls with window openings align with each other, creating sight lines that penetrate the building, allowing natural light in to each gallery space.

Custom designed benches, manufactured in Botswana by Mabeo Furniture, have been added to the rooms recently.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

Exterior View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

Gallery hill detail (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

Gallery Exterior View (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

Gallery Exterior View (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

Gallery Bench (Images Courtesy Peter Mabeo)

Facade effect principle (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

Facade beads detail (Images Courtesy Claesson koivisto Rune)

Night View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

Exterior View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

Interior View (Images Courtesy P Lindell)

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Category: Art Gallery

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