This competition entry proposes a new building typology which has lifestyle-changing potential. The Kaartinpunki/Ullanlinna harbor site enables the creation of a prominent architectural icon. Visitors entering Helsinki from the sea will be welcomed by a building which embodies the qualities of the Finnish spirit as well as the Guggenheim's artistic objectives. Environmental conditions which have shaped a unique society of diligence and responsibility are one of the driving forces throughout the design process. Design decisions were made not only to create an outstanding exhibition experience but also to provide a year-round active public place in the challenging Finnish climate. The Guggenheim's mission statement complemented by Finnish technological abilities is a guarantee of success in this ambitious task.
The Architectural Idea The design is rooted in the origins of Finnish architecture and art. Just like the works of Alvar Alto and others, the form of the building is inspired by Finnish landscapes, where the roles of land and water change constantly from background to foreground. The building is composed of functional islands covered by a public garden The folding of the transparent skin. This arrangement is covered by a light, translucent structure.
Guiding environmental conditions There are three comfort standards: - the exhibition hall with high comfort functions, – the main hall with communication areas, – the rooftop covered garden which protects the main museum functions and reuses it's energy. As a result, the temperature conditions are much milder inside than outside. Sufficient lighting will extend the growing season of plants and will create an illusion of sunlight, which is often desired by Scandinavian citizens.
See you at the Guggenheim On the basis of these rational principles, an extraordinary space will be created. It serves not only to organize and present internationally significant exhibitions but to provide a communal space where local residents and tourists can gather, socialize and explore the latest cultural ideas. The boundary between the public space and the museum is blurred by a plurality of holes in the surface of the garden. The undulating and transparent building skin creates spaces that are both interior and exterior. Extra space which is achieved by designing the garden can be used for many purposes, for example open-air exhibitions, concerts and meetings. Here, artists can work in the presence of the public and residents can use this space for walking and jogging, involuntarily being in contact with art. Contemporary museums are not crates for storing art - they are moving towards a return to the ancient gardens of art, which were open to all citizens.
The building in the context of the city The building will improve the quality of public space in its context and increase pedestrian and bicycle acitivity in the surrounding area. By relocating vehicular access to the port and the museum delivery zone underground, this design frees up space for the entrance plaza. Furthermore the existing parking area to the north should be removed or relocated underground to free up even more space.
All things for everybody This design is not merely an art museum. The social mosaic , will provide the area with an accessible, interpersonal, and effervescant experience for all. The flexibility of this design beyond this framework allows Guggenheim, and Helsinki itself to develop and adopt according to needs and wants, so the ongoing process can be as interactive as the finished project.