The concept of Kiasma involves the building's mass intertwining with the geometry of the city and landscape which are reflected in the shape of the building. An implicit cultural line curves to link the building to Finlandia Hall while it also engages a "natural line" connecting to the back landscape and Töölö Bay. In the landscape plan, extending the bay up to the building will provide an area for future civic development along this tapering body of water, which also serves as a reflecting pool for Finlandia Hall and new development along the south edge of the water. The horizontal light of northern latitudes is enhanced by a waterscape that would serve as an urban mirror, thereby linking the museum to Helsinki's Töölö heart, which on a clear day, in Aalto's word's, "extends to Lapland." The changes in elevation proposed with the water extension and it shallow depth would allow for parking decks and/or highway linkages which are presently part of various planning considerations.
Also, the Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art provides a variety of spatial experiences. We considered the range of contemporary artwork, and tried to anticipate the needs of a variety of artists including those whose works depend on a quiet atmosphere to bring out their full intensity. An exhibition space that works for an expressive and unpredictable artist such as Vito Acconci, must also work for artist such as Agnes Martin and Richard Tuttle. The general character of the rooms, which are almost rectangular with one wall curved, allows for a silent yet dramatic backdrop for the exhibition of contemporary art. These rooms are meant to be silent, but not static; they are differentiated through their irregularity.
Particular to Helsinki is the horizontal natural light of the northern latitudes. The slight variation in room shape and size due to the gently curving section of the building allows natural light to enter in several different ways. This asymmetrically drives movement through a series of spatial sequences. In this regard the overall design becomes a slightly warped "gallery of rooms," where the spatial flow emerges from the combination of the horizontal light-catching section and the continuity of the internal space. This curved unfolding sequence provides elements of both mystery and surprise - which do not exist in a typical single or double loaded orthogonal arrangement of space. Instead, the visitor is confronted with a continuous unfolding of an infinite series of changing perspectives which connect the internal experience to the overall concept of intertwining or Kiasma.
“Pastel Series” (9 Panels) Date: 2003 Medium: Found objects behind perspex Size: 44 cm (h) x 44 cm (w) each
“Thong Totems” Date: 2000 Medium: Stainless steel, steel and found objects ( rubber thongs ) Size: 2.2m (h) x 30cm (w) each ( 5 in total )
Medium: Stainless steel, steel and found objects(rubber thong)
Size: 4.5m (h) x 1.5m (w)
John Dahlsen is a contemporary Australian installation artist, noted for works based on flotsom found along the Australian shoreline. His work 'Thong Totems' (based on recycled rubber flip-flops found along the beach) won the 2000 Wynne prize for landscape, and he represented Australia at the 2003 Florence Biennial. Dahlsen's works have also been included in Sculpture by the Sea He studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education.