The Museum Building
The building of the Salo Art Museum is an old locomotive shed. More than 100 years old, the roundhouse has in its history gone through several phases of expansion. As a result of the last expansion, the building was converted into a modern art museum. The old brick section was renovated into exhibition halls, and next to that was built a new section, in which offices and work areas, art storage, and an on-demand café are located. The renovation and the new building were designed by the city architect Lauri Hollmén. The roundhouse was opened as an art museum in October 1998.
Railway services between Karjaa and Turku via Salo were initiated in 1899. Along the track in the Salo station area were several buildings designed for different purposes. For the sake of fire safety, the locomotive maintenance building was made of brick and situated apart from the other buildings. The roundhouse was built according to the drawings of the railway architect Knut Nylander in 1898-1899. The stylistic features of the roundhouse reflect the ideals of the Neo-Renaissance.
In the roundhouse at first were two stalls and a water tower. In 1923, the roundhouse´s stalls were extended. Over time, additional space was needed for a growing number of locomotives. By 1935, there were four stalls. By a hand-operated turntable in the inner yard, the locomotives were directed along tracks to their stalls, where there were grease tracks for maintenance.
The old roundhouse has been converted into an art museum with respect of the building´s history. In many places, details have been left in order to remind of the building´s earlier use. The hinges in the large entrance doors of the stalls remain in place, as well as two chimneys that were used to let out the smoke of the steam locomotives. In the inner courtyard of the museum stands a locomotive on the rotating turntable. The locomotive was purchased at the time of the museum´s opening from the Locomotive Park of Haapamäki. The renovation of the "chicken" type of locomotive was done by the Locomotive Museum Association of Haapamäki. The locomotive is dated to 1921, and it was in use until 1970. It got its nickname due to its characteristic "pecking" type of movement.