The name of the new Amos Anderson art museum to be built in downtown Helsinki will be Amos Rex.
The construction of the museum, which will be largely underground, began on 13 January with groundbreaking at the Lasipalatsi square.
Renovation of the commercial space of the Lasipalatsi building for the use of the new museum will take about one year. The construction of the museum space under the Lasipalatsi square and work on the museum facilities in Lasipalatsi will continue to 2018.
Driving the shovel in the groundbreaking ceremony was Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Director of Föreningen Konstsamfundet, which is the association that owns and manages Amos Anderson Art Museum. He explains Konstsamfundet’s investment in a new art museum with the mission defined for the association by the founder, Finnish businessman and arts patron Amos Anderson (1878-1961):
“The bylaws of Konstsamfundet provide that the association shall operate Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki and Söderlångvik Museum on Kimito Island (Kemiönsaari) in southwestern Finland. Thus the development of a new art museum is in accordance with the spirit of Amos,” Bergh states.
“Amos Rex in Lasipalatsi will be a totally different art museum than Amos Anderson Art Museum on Yrjönkatu. The old Lasipalatsi building with its tradition-filled Bio Rex cinema will form an integral part of the new museum. In addition, the fine, protected neon sign of Bio Rex will continue to dominate the upper façade of Lasipalatsi. It is also of great importance that the name Amos Rex works as such in several languages,” Amos Anderson Art Museum Director Kai Kartio explains.
The new museum building is designed by JKMM Architects with Asmo Jaaksi as the main architect. Construction is managed by the real estate company Helsingin Lasipalatsi, which is owned by Föreningen Konstsamfundet and the City of Helsinki. All costs are covered by Konstsamfundet. The museum is expected to receive more than 100,000 visitors per year.
The art museum project was approved by the Helsinki City Council in the spring of 2014. One of the main target groups of the museum will be young people.