Architecture, Contemporary Art, Culture

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is holding its first open international architectural competition for a proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland. As of December 2014, the shortlist finalists have been announced, and the winner will be announced in June 2015. Guggenheim museums are typically designed by world-renowned architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, and host critically acclaimed exhibitions.

With 1,715 anonymous entries from 77 countries, only 6 moved on to finals. They are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • AGPS Architecture Ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, United States of America)
  • Asif Khan Ltd. (London, United Kingdom)
  • Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (New York, United States of America; Barcelona, Spain; and Sydney, Australia)
  • Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Moreau Kusunoki Architectes (Paris, France)
  • SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Spain, and Western Australia)

The City of Helsinki has reserved a popular waterfront site in the Eteläsatama, or South Harbor area, for the proposed museum. This area is a developing urban space with great national and cultural significance which is close to the city centre and visible for those travelling by sea. It’s design should follow modern Nordic ideals of openness and accessibility with connections to its historic city centre and harbour setting, as well as possibly become a landmark and symbol of Helsinki. In addition, Finland is well known for sustainable bioeconomy and the use of Finnish wood should be considered.

The City of Helsinki and the State of Finland are to make the final decision whether or not this civic and cultural space should proceed with construction and development after the competition is finished and public announcement of the winning design. The building’s construction is valued at approximately 130 million euros, and the total site are is approximately 18, 520 square metres. The winner will receive 200,000 euros, and the five follow-up participants will receive 55,000 euros.

The six finalist architectural teams visited Helsinki in January to view the site of the proposed museum as well as to meet representatives of the City of Helsinki, the State of Finland, and other stakeholders to discuss Helsinki’s art, culture, economy and urban fabric. In addition, they met with representatives from the Guggenheim on the topics of its history, collections, programs, and exhibitions of the foundation.

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A screenshot of all 6 final designs (and to be honest, I only KIND OF like the last two if I had to choose)

Which one is your favourite?

You can follow their travels with the hashtag #GuggenheimHKI