Near the end of last year, the Guggenheim Foundation announced the six finalists in its global competition to design its new campus in Helsinki. That open call for ideas attracted more than 1,700 submissions that, when compiled together, created a dizzying array of architectural eye-candy. The basic idea behind the foundation’s unprecedented competition was to find an iconic, tourist-attracting design like Frank Gehry’s metallic creation in Bilbao.
While the short-listed proposals are still only known by a number, the six firms vying for the career-changing commission have been made public; they are AGPS Architecture (Zurich, Los Angeles), Asif Khan (London), Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (New York, Barcelona, Sydney), Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart), Moreau Kusunoki Architect (Paris), and SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Western Australia).
In the months since that announcement, these teams have been finalizing their schemes – and now the Guggenheim has unveiled new details and renderings for each one. The competition jury has also announced its 15 honorable mentions, along with the firms behind them.
Members of the public will be able to interact with all of the designs at a Guggenheim-sponsored exhibit that opens this Saturday in Helsinki. Following the exhibit, the jury will select a winner, to be announced on June 23 – one year after the competition was launched.
If you can’t make it to Helsinki for the exhibit, we’ve got the finalists, and the honorable mentions, right here.
From the architects: “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. The fragmental design 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. This flexible access welcomes not only the visitors but also serves as a key cultural destination for the community.”
From the architects: “The project proposes two facilities that establish a dialog with each other – a museum made of two museums. The first museum is on the ground or tarmac level of the port facility. The existing terminal is re-used and re-appropriated for multiple activities. It is conceived as a public space, extending the pedestrian boardwalk into the building – a place for education and outreach within the city. 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. As a hall on stilts, partly removed from the everyday life below, the building offers a place of refuge, adhering to the notion of the museum as an ‘other space.'”
From the architects: “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 reproduce its profile ensuring that the current views from the park and the adjacent buildings are preserved.”
From the architects: “We propose a Strategy that could offer back to the City of Helsinki an Extra Space at no additional cost. An added value for the City that transcends traditional Exhibition Spaces. We propose an Interior Street, an additional un-programmed space, which is not included in the original brief, that open the building up to citizen’s appropriation, and allow it to remain structurally relevant through the present and well into the future. The Interior Street, an Extra City Space, proposes a set of Unique Spaces that contains an almost unlimited number of conditions and situations that Public Space could offer to present, to study, (re) contextualize, or even provoke the people that enters it, whatever form it takes.”
From the architects: “Adorning the waters edge. A cluster of slender timber towers provides a stunning addition to the city skyline. The sculptural form lends the Guggenheim a „Beacon-like“ appearance, attracting visitors arriving by land or sea. A majestic public place in the city. The towers are gathered around a soaring catheral-like central space, providing a unique home for public events on the waterfront.”
From the architects: “Our proposal takes the form of a Helsinki city block rotated to the harbour 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.”
The Honorable Mentions