Guggenheim Helsinki

Design Competition proposal


+ Malcolm Reading

The new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki establishes a new model of museum, representing the Nordic ideals of openness and accessibility. The museum is not an enclosed site, defined by a homogeneous, self-contained approach to art, but rather a permeable site, open and receptive to the realm of artistic diversity.


Accordingly, the building’s architecture seeks an informal, open character, fulfilling the curatorial aim to provide a variety of specific exhibition spaces with excellent lighting. 21 individual ‘houses’ form an assemblage recalling the notion of a community, an archaic motif repurposed into a new composition for this site. Floating on four cores, the new entity cantilevers over the old South Harbour quay, allowing the character of the promenade to flow through the ground floor of the museum, blurring boundaries between indoor and outdoor space, and interweaving public and curatorial functions. The museum becomes a magical space, simultaneously familiar and astounding.


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