EMMA, the City of Espoo and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation opened a 1,000 square-metre extension that houses the unique collection and archive of Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala as well as changing exhibitions concentrating on design. Entitled Aukio, the space is designed by Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari (Studio Wanderlust) and is divided between the visible storage and changing exhibitions.
The permanent visible storage 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 visible storage works on three levels: as material objects placed on display in a space, spatially experienced digital content and as online content accessible from anywhere.
Studio Wanderlust’s Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari comment on the project:
“Aukio is an extremely exciting concept. The visible storage 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 visible storage 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.”
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, the retrospective has also been on display at Rovaniemi Art Museum, the Sámi Museum Siida and Seinäjoki Art Hall.
Read more about STILL / LIFE – Tapio Wirkkala Retrospective.