The role of the museum in contemporary society is one prone to evolution and state-change. We believe the Museum of History and the Future in the City of Turku has to embody Linnanniemi culture and constantly challenge public expectation primarily by staying present and quotidian, activating the urban condition within which it is located. Our vision comes into place with higher consciousness towards local materials, vernacular forms, and finite resources, whilst offering a flexible, adaptable and resilient space that elevates human comfort and well-being; ‘Matkustaja’ defies time by acting as a portal and invites you to travel.

Conceived as an extension of Turku’s city fabric, the building consists of a series of modular timber pavilions arranged around multiple courtyards. This particular design facilitates future horizontal expansion or reconfiguration while prioritising access to daylight and the outdoors. The roof overhangs serve as an artful interpretation of a traditional Finnish architectural detail while shielding the structure and the visitors from harsh weather conditions.

The Museum is in constant dialogue with its surroundings and offers a lens through which to contextualise the ever-changing perspectives Turku offers. The building’s orientation and proposed landscaping create a condition of privacy benefiting neighbouring residential areas while allowing for solar gains inside and in between the built forms. Grand glazed windows on the ground floor offer panoramic views of the waterfront, and on the second floor galleries frame curated views of the historic surrounding built environment. The glazing and supplementary clerestory windows normalise naturally lit gallery spaces, while courtyards and reflective surfaces further enhance lighting levels on the interior. In contrast, darker surfaces encourage the use of multimedia/other visual media in exhibition spaces.

The simplicity of this fully engineered modular timber building belies its groundbreaking innovation. When each component is designed to be as efficient as possible the project sets a powerful sustainable agenda, resulting in an honest design without excess.


Client: City of Turku
Use: Museum
Budget: €41 Million
Bldg. Area: 9,000m2
Structure: Timber
Status: Honorable Mention, International Design Competition


Team: Luca Poian, Timo Kujala, Anoushae Eirabie
Consultant: Arup International (structures, MEP, sustainable development, fire and safety)
Images: Filippo Bolognese Images