Snøhetta has designed an exhibition space to showcase Hilma af Klint’s greatest paintings in Kristallen Kunsthall in Järna, Sweden.
Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and anthroposophist whose paintings were considered a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas, and her work has been exhibited in several countries.
Some of her most famous paintings are ten paintings called, “The Great Ten”, which represents the four life cycles of humans: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Snøhetta designed an exhibition space that would be a permanent home to these paintings when they are not exhibited elsewhere.
The design of the exhibition space is an architectonic response to Klint’s famous work. All the paintings follow the “Golden ratio”, a method used by artists to locate aesthetically pleasing areas to place subjects and distribute weight in paintings.
The shape of the room is inspired by this, creating a non-symmetrical space which still is proportionate in relation to the paintings.
The visitor experience is at the heart of the design, ensuring that all paintings can be viewed from any angle when entering the room. The shape of the space is trapezoidal to create the illusion of smooth edges that appear almost non-existent.
The layout of the room is formed by the shape of Kristallen Art Hall, which is shaped as an uneven square. By using bright surfaces, soft rounded corners, and removing all doors, the visitor gets a feeling of “floating” in and out of the room.
At its highest peak, the room spans eight meters from the floor to the ceiling, and the paintings have been distributed accordingly, based on the differing height of the walls.
As the ceiling is made of glass, the exhibition’s main light source is daylight.
To ensure that the light appears pleasant and smooth irrespective of the weather, the glass has been covered with a thin cloth.
The primary objective of the exhibition is to portray Hilma af Klint’s paintings, but also to make Kristallen a new art hub for art enthusiasts all over the world.