Finally, one design wins the Guggenheim Helsinki project.

Guggenheim Helsinki is a museum proposed to be built at Helsinki, Finland. The design competition for the project received worldwide attention, with record-breaking 1715 submissions from architects across the world. Few months ago, six finalist designs were announced and I had written a blog post on that too; In that post, I do mentioned that I’m quite interested on the 1st, 3rd and 5th proposals. Out of the 3 I picked, one of it has actually won the design competition as announced recently. The winning design is the 1st one, and I copied again its design description as can be seen below:

Entry GH-04380895

The design of the Guggenheim Helsinki and its woven landscape are based upon a sensitive and sympathetic approach to the context and nature of Helsinki. The design encourages people to flow within a new cultural core that is linked to the rest of the city, through the port promenade and the pedestrian footbridge to the Observatory Park. This flexible access welcomes not only the visitors but also serves as a key cultural destination for the community.

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The museum skyline is composed by independent volumes, highlighted by a landmark tower. These fragmented art exhibition spaces allow strong integration with outdoor display and events, while the lighthouse offers a new perspective over the city. This new museum concept together with the charred timber façade echoes the process of regeneration that occurs when forests burn and then grow back stronger.

The winning design by Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki Architects, which beat five other short-listed designs, links nine low pavilions to a lighthouse-like tower, with all structures clad in Finnish charred timber and glass. The 11-member international jury commended it, named Art in the City, for its contemporary design and respect for the site in the South Harbour. The jury says the design created a “fragmented campus of linked pavilions where art and society could meet and intermingle”.

The winning architects must be very excited about it, but the future of the project is still uncertain with strong opposition from many Finns. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s plan to spread to Helsinki has faced opposition due to museum’s estimated cost of RM590mil (US$157 mil), which many Finns consider a waste of taxpayer’s money at a time of austerity and huge cuts to public spending. The foundation, which has popular and architecturally innovative museums in New York, Bilbao and Venice, and one under construction in Abu Dhabi, said in 2012 it wanted to add Helsinki to its stable of contemporary art spaces. Now, the museum’s economic impact need to be assessed and the decision to proceed with its construction will only be known by autumn.

(Information source:

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


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