The Guggenheim Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland

The Guggenheim Helsinki draws from nature. A cultural institution must serve as a borderless public space, extending accessibility to all. The site becomes an extension of activated space along Helsinki’s growing urban context, and the natural areas along its South Harbor. The Guggenheim Helsinki will showcase an abstraction of Finland’s natural context: wood, ice, and stone.

Soapstone, one of Finland’s top natural resources, is treated as the mass of the museum. The mass is punctuated with a trial of exploratory circulation that tunnels through the museum, breaking the mass apart. Connections to existing city paths encourage public access into the museum, either on foot, or on bike. The city is an extension of the museum; by bringing public spaces into the museum, we are challenging the museum, confines of public space, and the definitions of the museum.

We consider the Guggenheim Helsinki to be a record of process – recording history with the city, art, and progress.  The integration of new digital technologies allow us to build upon our experiences with nature.  Formwork will be constructed from Finnish wood. CNC milling allows for the ease and precision of formwork to be used. It is also our intention to honor the presence of wood – even when the formwork is removed, it is our intention to retain to see the marks of materiality.

The integration of new digital technologies allows us to build upon nature.

The cast-in-place concrete structure will be constructed, with formwork made from Finnish wood and CNC milled.


Civic Competition / Guggenheim Helsinki