By the end of the 1930´s, Ragnar Josephsons´s Archives of Decorative Art had outgrown the premises at the Department of Art History, located on the top floor of the main University building. More space was required for all the incoming sketches and models. The University provided an old physical education building from 1882, belonging to a Teachers’ Academy including an extension to these premises on the corner of Sölvegatan and Finngatan. The Architect Carl Andrén designed this in 1921. At the start, the building was shared with the Institute of Statistics and Mathematics. In 1941, the archives opened its doors for the general public and had thereby become a Museum.
As the collection expanded, the Museum was in need of further premises. In 1949, an architect from Lund – Hans Westman incorporated nine old army barracks with the existing building, where the Museum displayed its temporary exhibitions up till the year 2001. Hans Westman was also the architect behind the Catholic Church in Malmö and the student accommodation “Parenthesis” in Lund. In 1959, ten years later, Westman was once more commissioned to design the hall which is to this day called the Swedish Hall, including the older part of the entrance and the façade towards Finngatan – a raw concrete façade with a faint trace of the planks in relief from the building mould. The height of the ceiling in the new hall was adjusted to the often-monumental proportions of the models and sketches, and a bridge across the hall made it possible for visitors to come closer to the works placed further up. To this day, the Swedish Hall offers the possibility of seeing the façade of the former Teachers’ Academy that now constitutes the entrance to the International Hall.
From approximately 1970, the entire premises of the Teachers’ Academy belonged to Museum of Sketches, as one took over the section where the Nordic collection and the Creative Workshop are housed today. In 1988 it was once again time to extend the premises. Karl Koistinen and Göran Hellborg, architects in Lund, created the Museum’s Sculpture Hall, Library, and Studio for Photography – as well as the façade towards Sölvegatan – in collaboration with the artist Sivert Lindblom, who was based in Stockholm. The façade was covered by grey plaster and concrete, with an inlay of blue clinkers, and with a large bow-shaped window of red tinted aluminium. Lindblom’s re-creation of his own profile in the shape of two heads in patinated bronze, also appear on the façade. Two years later, the entrance that is faced with slate and accessed by Finngatan, was built by the Board of Building’s own architects.
Between the years 2001 and 2005, the Museum of Sketches was closed due to the biggest reconstruction and extension in its 70-year history. The Board of Property carried out this task on the assignment of the University of Lund. Johan Celsing and his Architect Office in Stockholm had won the competition for the extension of the Museum in 1999 with the proposal By the Park, which was presented in collaboration with the landscape architect Birre Skoglund. The Museum thus received a much-needed addition of storage space and premises in the form of workshops and studios. A large hall meant for temporary exhibitions – terminating in a window gallery facing the Sculpture Park, replaced Westman’s provisional barracks that were by this time standing for some fifty years.
At present, the Museum of Sketches consists of buildings from six different epochs, which have all been linked together. The new extension has connected the older parts of the Museum into one unit – creating an inner courtyard with a beautiful inflow of light into the passage between the Swedish and the Sculpture Hall. In the year 2006, the new extension was awarded the Concrete Prize (Betongpriset) for the way in which Celsing treated the façade, so that it merged together with Westman’s construction from the late 1950’s.