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Umeå | Bildmuseet – the contemporary North

Place: Umeå, Country: Sweden
Client: Balticgruppen AB
Architectural design:
Henning Larsen Architects
Design team:
White Arkitekter, Tyréns, WSP Group, TM-Konsult
Text by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Photos courtesy of Bildmuseet and Henning Larsen Architects
For photo credits see captions

Bildmuseet-Umeaa-Arts-Campus

Photo Henrik Olofsson, courtesy of Bildmuseet

Umeå | Bildmuseet by Henning larsen Architects – the contemporary North

Umeå is a town of 80,000 inhabitants in Sweden, located 600 kilometers north of Stockholm. Elected European Cultural Capital for 2014, Umeå is renown as the hometown of various prestigious Swedish universities.

The Bildmuseet – center for contemporary arts and visual culture – is, since 2012, part of the Umeå  Arts Campus, the largest among the university campuses in town, which includes the School of Architecture, the Umeå Institute of Design, the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts,  the digital experimental workshop HumLab-X  and Sliperiet, an innovative business incubator for creative companies.

The Bildmuseet at the Umeå Arts Campus
Designed by  Henning Larsen Architects, who also designed all campus’ buildings including the School of Architecture in 2009, the tall shape of new museum, overlooking the Ume river, has soon become a city landmark.

Bildmuseet-Umeaa Arts Campus1Photo Johan Gunseus

Bildmuseet Umeaa Arts Campus6-Photo Johan Gunseus-2

top and bottom: photo Johan Gunseus, courtesy of Bildmuseet

On 7 floor levels, the museum houses three exhibition halls, an auditorium and a children workshop, together with public service areas and offices.

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Umeaa-bildmuseet-entrance-HL

Top: image courtesy of Henning Larsen architects
Middle and bottom: photo Åke E:son Lindman, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

The exhibition halls -all square, open spaces with a ceiling height of more than 5 meters- are surrounded by a passageway on their entire perimeter. Such corridors, conceived as relaxing areas located between the exhibition space and the building façade, work as a filter for the natural light entering the museum from the outside while at the same time provide the visitors with a stunning view on the beautiful surrounding landscape.

Art Museum in Umeå

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Umeaa-bildmuseet-exterior-view

Photos Åke E:son Lindman, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Like all other buildings in the Arts Campus, the Bildmuseet exterior is clad in Siberian larch; the wood texture accentuates and underlines the verticality of the building, where the only horizontal signs are constituted by the large windows and the traces of the floor slabs.

Bildmuseet Umeaa ext-2

Left: photo Åke E:son Lindman, Right: photo Polly Yassin; courtesy of Bildmuseet

The Bildmuseet defines itself a a “center for contemporary art and visual culture” (bild means image in English). Indeed, the museum develops its activity through temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art, photography, architecture and design; as well as by organizing guided tours, conferences, seminars, screenings and creative workshops.

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Photo Åke E:son Lindman; courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects


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Bildmuseet | Umeå
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The Bildmuseet is a museum dedicated to contemporary art and visual culture located in the city of Umeå, northern Sweden


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