3XN’s first prize proposal for a new Randers Museum of Art consists of a building on one level, rising up towards each end and traversed by a diagonal with a mezzanine deck running full length through the exhibition building. The diagonal creates a bridge between the permanent exhibition and the temporary exhibition and simultaneously divides the building into front-of-house and back of-house zones. The internal flow is a continuation of the external flow of its surroundings – the city of Randers, and the new sculpture park by the Gudenå river to be created with the new museum building. With its high glazed areas drawing daylight and countryside into the building and opening up under a roof vault clad with red, semi glazed tiles the building is itself a sculpture located in its own sculpture park. The architectural expression of coherence is achieved by designing the soft transition of the exterior and the interior in the same way. The facade becomes the roof, and similarly – inside – the floor becomes a wall, and the wall a ceiling. Variation in spatial height ranging from five to 12 metres, and a change from the regular to the irregular, mark the different functions and exhibits. In the permanent exhibition, the floor and walls meet in the traditional, rectangular manner but at the entrance to the Dalsgaard zone the floor transmutes softly into a wall – to emphasise that here space and art, and art and reality can intermingle in ways that are anything but square and regular. The key idea behind the design is that a good, well functioning museum is extrovert and opens up towards its surroundings and inviting visitors, as well as introvert in its concentration on the experience of the works of art within it. A good museum is a vibrant part of its local surroundings – as well as a unique framework for the unique works of art it displays. Just as the frame around the picture serves as a pause between the artwork and the wall – between art and the world around it – so the interior of the museum building serves as the necessary, tranquil background for exhibits. Thus, the new Randers Museum of Art is a building where nature is drawn in and art reaches out.
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