The Kalmar Museum of Art was designed by Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter, Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård Hansson is the result of a winning proposal in the open international competition in 2004 and was inaugurated on the 10th of May 2008. Situated in the City Park of the renaissance town of Kalmar, Sweden, it is built next to a restaurant pavilion dating from the 1930s by Swedish modernist architect Sven-Ivar Lind. The competition motto was Platform, also the conceptual idea of this museum; a series of open platforms for art related activities. It is also how the museum is constructed, large spans for maximum flexibility, so that not only light but also space can be transformed and adjusted to meet the specific needs of each exhibition.
The black four-level cube is clad with large scale wooden panels and punctuated by large glazed openings. It houses both the Kalmar collection of modern art as well as spaces for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, videos, performances and concerts. Almost domestic in its scale this museum still provides a variety of exhibition conditions. The two main spaces are the white box where one side can open up completely to bring in the exterior of the park, and the top floor gallery that is lit by shed head light shafts doubling its ceiling height. In addition there is a public art library and open workshops.
One of the architectural main features is the open stair spiralling the full height of the building, starting from the new entrance lobby that interconnects between lake-side and park. It is a top lit space with all surfaces in exposed in situ cast concrete. The four floors, each different from the others, are stacked on top of each other and create a vertical walk up into the greenery of the trees and different spacial experiences, while offering views of the environs, the Kalmar castle, the Baltic sea and the old city centre. Construction is in situ cast concrete, the big spans are made with ‘after tension’ slabs. Interior finishes are exposed concrete, black stained plywood dorrs and panels, white painted walls and ceilings, natural ash. TVH has also designed some furniture; the green bock-tables, the hexagon tables in white ash and stell/carrara, the museum bench, library shelves.