Guggenheim Helsinki Museum
Competition 2014
Helsinki, Finland
Team: Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szostkiewicz, Alberto Salvador Martin

The proposal of the Guggenheim Museum Helsinki suggests a radical urban facility for the production and exhibition for international and Nordic contemporary Art. The building proposed fits the required program inside a modest orthogonal volume which is dressed with row timber trunks, to fit the Tahititornin Vuori Park in the background and take advantage of Finland’s timber resources. The rough semi-transparent volume of the building contains the exhibition galleries and generic program, and floats above the transparent ground floor which opens to the city and contains spaces and infrastructure for the production of Arts, in common by the artists and the urban subjects. The ground floor is fully accessible and in fusion with the city’s urban continuum, thus sheltered by the ‘spatial roof’, which hosts the galleries and exhibitions of the museum, the city. In such a way, the production of contemporary Art, the city, happens on the street level, in the interior and exterior spaces of Guggenheim, exploiting the port’s and its own facilities and generosity of urban space. The compactness and spatial efficiency of the building proposed, releases the outdoors spaces of the site for large scale artistic installations and generous flows of people and art from and towards the port of Helsinki.
The connecting act between the city’s program, the port’s continuity, Guggenheim’s ground floor and floating galleries’ volume is the continuous ramp (5% slope), which starts from the entrance of the Museum and ends at the top of it, leading to Tahititornin Vuori Park through a footbridge. The urban ramp is thus providing the Guggenheim with two entrances and connects it directly with Eteläsatama’s cultural routes and networks. The continuous route Park-Guggenheim- city port, and reverse, sets the Guggenheim as another major urban sequence within Helsinki’s expanding cultural structure, which can be experienced by local urban dwellers and visitors as an integrated part of their everyday routines or touristic agendas, and not merely as a standalone attraction.
The galleries of the museum range in size and qualities of interior spaces, in order to fit a multiplicity of curatorial concepts and media of Arts. The galleries which are located on the lower part of the building are strictly protected by any daylight and are smaller in size, so they can host smaller and more sensitive exhibits. Instead the galleries located on the upper floors are larger and their daylight conditions are regulated by the technical mechanisms of the roof. Those large galleries are appropriate for large scale installations and collective performances/gatherings. All galleries are connected by the smooth and wide ramp running through all the buildings, as well as by the 3 central cores.
The design of the museum suggests a compact and hyper efficient building, which exploits in the maximum Finland’s construction materials, such as timber, local stones and steel. All the interior spaces are clad in wooden finishes and are protected by the thermal properties of the timber trunks of the façade.