Guggenheim Helsinki Museum Competition 2014

Partner in charge: arch. Maciej Busch, arch. Piotr Skrzycki, arch. Dawid Szczepański, arch. Kamil Doamchowski, arch. Paweł Maszota

The design of Guggenheim Helsinki Museum focuses on the unique relationship between the City of Helsinki and the plot of the land located on the edge of the Etelasatama Bay. It has been guided by the topographical context of the coastline’s postglacial landforms- moraines, fjords, islands and eskers. This diverse vocabulary of forms has been the inspiration to the formal and material architectural language of the museum. Some of the special qualities reflect the Finnish landscape composed of hard rock valleys and granite hills while others lakes and forests.
Design Goals
The main design goal is to provide the space that hosts the unique art and design collection, fits to the city pattern but also makes a strong statement of its presence.
It is also necessary that the spatial solution address the urban issues such as defragmentation of the city and lack of public noncommercial spaces accessible to the citizens all year round taking the harsh Finnish climate into the account. The new building exposes attractive qualities of the bay and creates special conditions to become a vivid cultural space active through the year.
Guggenheim Helsinki Square
One of three predominant spaces of the proposed museum is the Guggenheim Square.
It has been designed as a double floor square. A space below the morphic shell shelters visitors form the summer heat and winter snows, allowing public enjoy the outdoors through the year enjoying roofed, open-air amphitheater and performance spaces.
The upper side of the shell becomes a city hill, exposed to the south side, providing stunning views of the town and the harbor and an unusual space to relax and stroll over the lunchtime or stop over during the sightseen walk.
Both levels create a spatial opportunity to explore outdoor galleries, sculpture and architectural forms external exhibitions encouraging the visitors to lively interact and experience Guggenheim collections.
Guggenheim Helsinki Tower
The large size sculptures or volume performances are located in the designated space of the Guggenheim Museum Tower. This form has it’s inspiration in the medieval Finnish churches and represents the rough beauty of postglacial landscape. The tower brings the opportunity of becoming recognizable icon of the city of Helsinki, complementing the visual dialogue between Johanneksenkirkko, Uspenskin katedraali and Helsingin tuomiokirkko.
Guggenheim Helsinki Exhibition Space
The main museum space has been located below the offices, educational and dining levels. This step allows to locate and easily maintain the collection leaving the upper level open and accessible to public. The space is entirely flexible allowing to arrange and rearrange the exhibitions too meet the needs of museums dynamic programs. It has been also located next to the base of the Guggenheim Tower – the multifunction and large size gallery space allowing the visitor to smoothly flow trough diverse expositions presented in the museum.
The Guggenheim Helsinki has been designed to use locally sourced Finnish wood and stone to construct the museum. The natural location, the advantage of a sun exposure has been taken into the account during the design process and new sustainable technologies has been used.
The proposed Guggenheim Helsinki Museum is an open special dialogue with the surroundings. It complements the city of Helsinki with a vast and attractive public space encouraging visitors to interact with art on various levels both physical and metaphorical and adds fits into the waterfront, with the prominent tower becoming a new Icon of Helsinki. It provides the opportunity to shelter one of the most prominent collections of Nordic art and design.