Finalists for Helsinki Guggenheim Announced

John Hill
2. December 2014
Photo: Screenshot from designguggenheimhelsinki.org

The jury for the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has selected six finalists from the 1,715 anonymous submissions submitted in October for the open competition's first stage. The finalists will develop their designs for the second stage.

With today's announcement of the finalists the Guggenheim released the names of the six architecture studios, though attribution to the numbered schemes remains anonymous:
 

agps.architecture ltd., Zürich & Los Angeles
Asif Khan Ltd, London
Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, New York, Barcelona & Sydney
haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050, Stuttgart
Moreau Kusunoki, Paris
SMAR - Fer Jemez, Madrid & Western Australia

Images and descriptions from the competition website are presented below, with links to the finalist submissions for more images and information. Per the competition timeline, the stage-two submissions are due in March 2015, with a winner of the competition announced in June 2015.

While the announcement of the finalists is a much-needed step in the move from the huge initial response to selecting one winner, the realization of a Guggenheim branch museum in Helsinki is not a guarantee. As noted in April when the competition was announced, the Helsinki city council will not approve a museum on the vacant harbor-front site until after the competition is held. So in addition to determining which design will best represent the Guggenheim, the 11-person jury* will need to consider which design will have the best chance of being approved by the city council.

A hint of what the jury will be considering can be found in their statement's conclusion: "The single theme, which linked the chosen six, and united the Jury, was the impulse to expand the idea of what a museum can be. How can this new museum create a vital, meaningful, public and intellectual presence within Helsinki? Which of these concepts will develop so that they bear comparison with the city’s architectural exemplars? The Jury looks forward to the second stage of the competition and choosing a winner in early summer 2015."


Finalist GH-04380895

GH-04380895 "links the museum to the rest of the city through a pedestrian footbridge to Tähtitorninvuori Park and a promenade along the port, including a food hall and a market during the warm months. The museum programs are housed in pavilion-scale buildings treated as independent, fragmentary volumes within this landscape, allowing for a strong integration of outdoor display and event spaces with interior exhibition galleries. The ensemble is made to stand out from afar by being composed around a landmark tower. The use of charred timber in the facade evokes the process of regeneration that occurs when forests burn and then grow back stronger than before."

Finalist GH-04380895

Finalist GH-1128435973

GH-1128435973 "creates two facilities in dialogue with each other. The ground floor is an adaptive reuse of the existing Makasiini Terminal, conceived as a public space that extends the pedestrian boardwalk into the building. This is a place for education, civic activity, and incubating ideas. The second floor is an exhibition hall on stilts, which hovers above the terminal building, partly removed from everyday life. The long rectangular volume offers a flexible space for all types of exhibitions and adheres to the notion of a museum as a space apart. Through this dual scheme, the proposed museum could engage its public to co-create value and meaning."

Finalist GH-1128435973

Finalist GH-121371443

GH-121371443 "drapes a skin of textured glass panels over a bar-like, two-story interior structure, creating an environmentally sustainable public space between the facade and the gallery volumes, with natural light diffused throughout. In an unusual innovation, the element that makes the building sustainable—the intelligent glass wrapper, which uses technology such as Nanogel glazing and rollable thermal shutters—is also the element that distinguishes the project visually, giving the building an ethereal presence. Within the building, an annex for the work of younger Nordic artists is paired with a market hall, and a service pavilion encloses a sculpture garden."

Finalist GH-121371443

Finalist GH-5059206475

GH-5059206475 "reuses the laminated wood structure of the Makasiini Terminal to rebuild a wooden volume that exactly follows the geometry of the original, and preserves the current views from the park and the adjacent buildings. Within this structure—essentially an undisturbed network of existing conditions—the project creates 31 rooms: eight of them measuring 20 x 20 m, 18 of them 6.5 x 6.5 m, four of them 10 x 10 m, and one 40 x 100 m. This rigid set of spatial conditions is combined with a deliberate distribution of climates based on the program and principles of sustainability, with each room acclimatized independently so that the galleries together form a 'thermal onion'."

Finalist GH-5059206475

Finalist GH-5631681770

GH-5631681770 "reconfigures circulation and use of the East and West Harbors to establish an area of industrial activity and an area of cultural activity, with the museum as the link between the city and the waterfront. In a critical shift from the idea of a building as static object to a building that accommodates the flux of daily life, a city street runs through the interior of the museum, opening it to appropriation by the citizens and creating a combination of programs: a museum program and an unpredictable street program, in which visitors may become productive and creative users of the space."

Finalist GH-5631681770

Finalist GH-76091181

GH-76091181 "comprises a ring of slender, sculptural towers faced with timber shingles, reminiscent of vernacular architecture, gathered around a cathedral-like central space. The towers, with their play of light and shadow, create an architectural beacon, visible by land or sea, while the central space, sheltered from extremes of weather yet part of the quayside, provides an exceptional new site for public events on the waterfront. Exhibition galleries are housed in timber cabinets stacked within the towers. Bridges connecting the towers offer breathing space for visitors between experiencing art and offer new viewing points over the city and harbor."

Finalist GH-76091181

*Guggenheim Helsinki jury, L-R: Jeanne Gang, Nancy Spector, Mikko Aho, Helena Säteri, Juan Herreros, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Anssi Lassila, Ritva Viljanen, Mark Wigley (Chair), Erkki Leppävuori, Rainer Mahlamäki (Photo: Riitta Supperi)

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