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Art in the City

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, Moreau Kusunoki

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Project Description


The Guggenheim Helsinki must be a new museum paradigm, just like every Guggenheim museum has been before. This proposal is an iconic lighthouse, a sustainable architecture that is more than a landmark. It is a place which invites the visitors and the community to meet in art and nature.

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. It 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 Tahtitorninvuori Park. It is a place for everyone to experience a new piece of the city.

The carefully arranged fragmental volumes create natural passages in-between, which allow free flow and flexible access that both welcome new visitors and serve as a key cultural destination for the community. The proposal celebrates openness and encourages public engagement. People can enjoy a stroll throughout the whole site, walking through a variety of passages, which make people wanting to enjoy a moment on their way of everyday life, discover different scenes in every visit. The generous passage in-between the exhibition galleries is a free, open space. Its cozy atmosphere is creating an ambivalent feeling of being familiar, intimate and social.

The fragmental art exhibition spaces together with vertical sky galleries in the symbolic tower allow natural and efficient flow and strong integration with outdoor display and event spaces. From the tower, people can enjoy the view over the city of Helsinki and the iconic roof scape of the Guggenheim museum.

The flexible and generous exhibition galleries accommodate both large and intimately scaled spaces. The general organization is dictated by the necessity to assure the efficient use maintaining quality of the museum and civic realm for the visitors, the staff and the citizens.

The bioclimatic nature of the architecture allows daylight and solar radiation to penetrate deeply into the building. The aim of this feature is that the building receives natural sunlight throughout the year. The tower includes an innovative solar chimney used to naturally and passively ventilate the building premises in summer. Completed by rainwater harvesting, both natural and controlled ventilation, the building will achieve LEED gold certification.

Both the structure of the pavilions and the tower explore the state of the art of contemporary timber construction. The box sections of the two-way grillage are composed of CNC-machined laminated veneer lumber sourced and fabricated in Finland, paying homage to the great tradition of wood construction in Finland. The charred timber façade is a durable material and nearly maintenance free. It echoes the process of regeneration that occurs when forests burn and then grow back stronger. 
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