Guggenheim Museum

Helsinki, Finland
OYO Architects
Helsinki, Finland

The importance of the new Guggenheim Museum for Helsinki should be conceived as a platform, a forum for social and cultural interaction. The museum as a catalyst in a larger network of cultural buildings in the harbor area will radiate not only to the locals; creating new opportunities for the young but also on an international level; addressing art and culture from all over the world located in this prominent waterfront area.

On the location of the Kaartinkaupunki/Ullanlinna site chosen to design the new Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum we behold how urban and landscape fabrics merge. The new museum will be positioned in a transitional one of different grids; the harbor waterfront grid; the grid of the city; the Tähtitornin Vuori park park landscape. The new building should emphasize the ambition in taking those flows through, in and around the building; letting the building grow from that transitional urban node between green and city fabric.

The architectural concept of the building is conceived as a playful stacking of wood logs. Those logs are partly cut, leaving each time two thirds of it as a mass. They are subsequently rotated 90º each time rising up to the floor above, creating a dynamic sequence of exhibition spaces with different views towards the city of Helsinki. The program with storage and logistics are located on ground floor facing the street. Towards the waterfront, the auditorium is located next to the cafe. Three other logs are created as areas for exhibitions. The highest log contains the offices and administration.

‘Helsinki rooted introduces the forest in an abstracted contemplative form captured in time and translated in a building that will connect inhabitants to its home country and visitors introduced to Finnish culture and traditions.’

As a result of the log stacking principle negative spaces are created within the building. These negative spaces are the starting point for conceiving how we want this multi-zone or atrium to be apprehended. The qualities of Frank Lloyd Wright’s round atrium are reinterpreted in order to create our own concept for the Guggenheim Helsinki. By these means, we transcend the conventional concept of circulation. When combined with another program, the conventional concept of circulation becomes an experience by itself for the visitor. The building is conceived as an object by a combination of different approaches.


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