Goth Bilbao: Moreau Kusunoki Named Winner of Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

Architecture International Newsletter Urbanism
"Art in the City" by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition. (Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

“Art in the City” by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition.
(Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

Maybe its the extra darkness in the winter. The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, which famously generated an astounding 1,715 submissions, came to a conclusion today as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced the winner. Parisian firm Moreau Kusunoki Architectes and its “Art in the City” proposal was chosen from six international finalists.

"Art in the City" by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition. (Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

“Art in the City” by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition.
(Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

The design, which resembles a more austere, dark-but-not-quite-post-apocalyptic version of the Guggenheim Bilbao, “invites visitors to engage with museum artwork and programs across a gathering of linked pavilions and plazas organized around an interior street.” The Goth Bilbao in Helsinki is clad in charred local timber and glass. Nine volumes and a tower mimic waves and a lighthouse along the harbor, while a promenade meanders along the South Harbor’s waterfront and a pedestrian footbridge connects to the nearby park.

"Art in the City" by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition. (Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

“Art in the City” by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition.
(Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

“I extend the Guggenheim’s warmest congratulations to Moreau Kusunoki for having achieved the design goals of this competition with such elegance, sensitivity, and clarity,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “I also want to express our admiration and gratitude to the other five finalists and to all of the architects who participated in this competition.”

"Art in the City" by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition. (Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

“Art in the City” by Moreau Kusunoki Archictectes, the winning proposal for the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition.
(Courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes)

Jury chair Mark Wigley, professor and dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, said at the announcement that “Moreau Kusunoki has titled its proposal ‘Art in the City,’ a name that sums up the qualities the jury admired in the design,” he continued, “The waterfront, park, and nearby urban area all have a dialogue with the loose cluster of pavilions, with people and activities flowing between them. The design is imbued with a sense of community and animation that matches the ambitions of the brief to honor both the people of Finland and the creation of a more responsive museum of the future.”

Related Stories