Lightfield: Estonian National Museum

Competition entry for the new Estonian National Museum. Awarded fourth place.

Tartu, Estonia
Sector: Pending upload
Client: Estonian National Museum Committee
Project Status: Competition
Budget: £22M

The original idea behind Estonia’s National Museum was to ask Estonians to bring together artefacts from all over the country to become part of the museum’s collection. Our aim was to reflect this concept by creating a solid mass with a series of incisions, each representing a symbolic opening, relating to the map of Estonia on a global level and to the site and city of Tartu on a local level.We further accentuated this concept by concentrating on the way the level of light decreases almost imperceptibly further towards the core of the building. Beyond a question of atmosphere, this feature of the design allowed us to create different lighting conditions, each providing the optimum environment for specific parts of the collection. The external stainless steel facade reflects the context and country – the inside out – while the transparency of the incisions bring the artefacts to the people — the outside in.

Gianni Botsford


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