Sara Hildén Art Museum will not move to the Finlayson area 

The construction of a new building for the Sara Hildén Art Museum in the Finlayson area has been abandoned. The City of Tampere, the Sara Hildén Foundation and Mutual Pension Insurance Company Varma have jointly stated that the proposed building site in the centre of Tampere does not serve the museum's needs for development. The museum will continue to operate in its current premises. 

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company, the Sara Hildén Foundation and the City of Tampere organised an international architectural competition for the design of the new Sara Hildén Art Museum in 2020. In May 2021, architect Janne Hovi’s proposal Lumen Licht was selected as the winner of the competition.  – The winning design from the prestigious architecture competition has been more than two years in the making, with a very flexible approach to exploring different possibilities. Unfortunately, however, the winning entry could not find a design solution for the intended location that met the museum’s operational objectives, says Virpi Ekholm, Director of Real Estate and Housing at the City of Tampere. The decision to abandon the project was taken unanimously by the project steering group. The main challenge was the demanding building site. The location of the art museum in the cultural environment was seen as an advantage, but it also significantly limited the possibilities for building spaces that could meet the museum’s needs The cooperation agreement on land use development in the Finlayson area, which expired at the end of 2023, will not be renewed.  Mutual Pension Insurance Company Varma owns the real estate in the Finlayson area. According to Asset Manager Kai Niinimäki, the new Sara Hildén Art Museum building would have been a welcome and attractive addition to the already strong cultural and events cluster of the Finlayson area. – The winning work was architecturally appropriate to the site and excellent in its own right. However, as the local detailed plan amendment process progressed, the refined design also highlighted the challenges of a compact building site in a sensitive cultural environment, such as greenery, underground infrastructure and foundations for surrounding buildings, says Kai Niinimäki.  The city’s aim is to continue to promote the museum’s ability to develop its activities and expand its range of exhibitions. From the city’s point of view, one option is to renovate and expand the existing museum, taking into account the current development plans for the Särkänniemi area, especially the desired year-round activities. – The Sara Hildén Art Museum still needs space to develop its activities. The museum building must provide the prerequisites and conditions for a modern art museum that meets international standards, well into the future. The aim is to enable the Sara Hildén Foundation’s permanent collection to be displayed simultaneously with the temporary exhibitions, which is not feasible in the current situation, says Museum Director, Anna Hjorth-Röntynen.  

Further information

Virpi Ekholm

City of Tampere Real Estate Director


040 020 5044

Anna Hjorth-Röntynen

Sara Hildén Art Museum, The Sara Hildén Foundation Museum Director


040 185 4132

Kai Niinimäki

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Asset Manager


+ 358407298144

Text: Raija Lindell
Photos: Blom Kartta Oy