The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced the six finalists for the first stage of its design competition early this morning. Drawn from a field of 1,715 entries, these finalist entries, selected from an 11-member jury, represent a shift away from the starchitect-designed museums already in the Guggenheim’s collection. The entries represent work by emerging and established practices in seven countries.

The six proposals will advance to the second stage of the competition in which firms or individuals will be provided with more detailed material and must expand upon their stage one proposals to produce a master plan model by March 2015.

The models will go on public display in the spring and a final winner will be announced in June 2015. The winner will receive €100,000 (about $156,574) and the five runner-ups will each receive €55,000 (about $86,119).

Here are the six finalists in the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition:

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #1

From the architects:

"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."

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #2

From the architects:

"The submitted project proposes two facilities that establish a dialog with each other – a museum made of two museums, in which one addresses the very shortfalls of the other, while strengthening their respective qualities – type of reverberating Doppler Effect.

The first museum is on the ground or 'tarmac' of the port facility. The existing terminal is re-used and re-appropriated for multiple and unexpected activities. While maintaining its function as a hub for arriving and departing passengers, the building acts as the museum's entry. Part laboratory, part community center, part gathering space, it is conceived as a public space, extending the pedestrian boardwalk into the building – a social place for education and outreach within the city, essentially informal in its character.

The second museum is the museum as such, in so far as it houses exhibitions. The structure is in the air and hovers...above the first. Whereas the place is more formal, it nonetheless displays characteristics of a warehouse, with skylights, rough finishes, and straightforward installations."

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #3

From the architects:

"Our proposal takes the form of a Helsinki city block rotated to the harbor-front.

Helsinki city blocks in the 1800s were named after wild animals. The proposed new block will have the tactile familiarity of a pet's fur.

Six timber-clad galleries are stacked over two levels and flanked by a seventh for administration and retail. Public spaces are formed between these and an intelligent textured glass skin wrapping the entirety to precisely diffuse light, translucent below, and transparent above."

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #4

From the architects:

"Our proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki, 31 Rooms, extends the network using the architectural technologies that construct Helsinki's interior citizenry: i.e. walls, doors, windows, and the machinery that defines atmospheric conditions."

"31 Rooms links its interiors to those of Helsinki's network of indoor public spaces. Its front door opens to a new public square that extends south of the Old Market Hall Plaza."

"31 Rooms reuses the laminated wood structure of the existing Makasiini terminal to rebuild a wooden volume that follows the exact geometry of the original building. The rest of the massing respects the maximum height of the old terminal and reproduces its profile ensuring that the current views from the park and the adjacent buildings are preserved."

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #5

From the architects:

"To reflect the museum's new programmatic variety we do not offer an ascetic place that can accommodate different specificities but a New Urban Experience. Proposing a Unique Space that transcends traditional exhibition spaces. An interior Urban Street. An Extra Space for the City of Helsinki."

"The Design of the new Guggenheim Museum must be seen as an opportunity to create a linked Connection between City and Harbour."

"In planning the museum, we try to imagine how art and audiences might come together five years from now, in an institution that not only houses and cares for a collection, but is also a meeting place of major social significance. The New Guggenheim Helsinki should be generous, adaptable, and multi-functional. It's not about Designing a Museum, it's about Designing an Experience."


Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

Finalist #6

From the architects:

"Perched at the water's edge, a cluster of slender timber towers provides a dynamic addition to the city skyline. Clearly seen from afar and taking full advantage of this spectacular location, the sculptural form provides the new Guggenheim with a distinctive 'Beacon-like' appearance, attracting visitors arriving by either land or sea.

The towers are gathered around a spectacular cathedral-like central space. Flooded with light, and sheltered from the extremes of the weather, whilst still a part of the quayside, this soaring space offers spectacular views out over the city and a unique new home for public events."

The jury, who met from Oct. 30 through to Nov. 3, selected the six finalists from criterion including each project’s overall organization and concept, connections to city spaces and planes, quality of light, use of materials and museum space, response to climatic environment/technology, and creative flair. After intensive review processes and multiple re-evaluations of a few early-rejected schemes, the final six concepts were approved by all eleven jurors and received the highest scores.

For more information on these designs, check out our project gallery.