Guggenheim museum

Helsinki . GH-6038637359 entry

+ Malcolm Reading

Humans have been seeking duality in space in which we are both sheltered and ensured freedom. Contemporary art museums also evolve from the conventional type of space as “White Box” to seek a more open contemporary space. Nevertheless the traditional exhibition mode in an enclosed environment is not without its merit, which actually echoes our need deep inside for primary space. The identification of open space, on one hand results from the process of contemporary urban space growth, on the other hand it is relevant to the efforts of mankind to define their relationships to nature in contemporary lives.

The design of New Guggenheim Museum Helsinki intends to juxtapose the closed gallery spaces with the open galleries. The lower part of the museum is composed of the closed box-shaped galleries, adjusting the conventional “White Box” into organic shapes and positioning the galleries to create a sense of cave. While the open space in the museum upper part presents an undulating ground, which is connected to the adjacent hills via a pedestrian bridge crossing over the city street, and it also visually echoes the expansive sea to the other side of the museum.
The undulating ground creates a feeling of nature, and part of the space will be designed into a winter garden, as if the extension of the hills southwestern. It is where all museum public activities will take place. Also, a special gallery is located here, allowing an invited artist every year to have a solo show titled as “artist of the year of Guggenheim Helsinki”. It will appeal to the artists and art lovers all over the world.
To emphasize the visual weight, the lower galleries will be made of concrete (from the perspective of constructive technique, it can also be steel or wood structure with precast cladding of GFRC). Local wood in Finland will be used in the upper undulating ground and the museum roof, co-structured with steel, to highlight the sense of openness and lightness. Currently, there are two ways to form the upper space; both will be possible solutions in further design.

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