The city of Helsinki has nominated an exceptional space in the docklands for a new museum. This urban area just south of the port is called Etelasatama and is strategically placed, being eminently visible when arriving by sea. Such a location will ensure the project becomes a important icon for the city of Helsinki and the country of Finland a whole.

Project Name: Guggenheim Helsinki
Studio Name: Avenier Cornejo Architectes

Guggenheim Helsinki By Avenier Cornejo Architectes - Sheet2
©Avenier Cornejo Architectes

Our project is symbolically and physically a link between the urban space of the historical center, the ferry terminus and the Tahtitorninmaki park. The toroidal shape is a “green way” enabling a non motorised flow, seasonally changing from summer pedestrians, skaters and joggers to a winter playground for families and toboggans. Joining “street life” outside and contemporary art inside it will become a cultural hub, much like the plaza at Pompidou Center (Beaubourg), Paris.

The roof of the building is not only a pathway but also a viewpoint respecting the skyline and height regulations of the city; a place to reflect and absorb the surrounding waterfront and city.

Guggenheim Helsinki By Avenier Cornejo Architectes - Sheet3
©Avenier Cornejo Architectes

As a loop, the museum space is a fluid circuit, taking the visitor on a promenade through Nordic, then International contemporary art from the entrance to the belvedere.

Within the fluidity of space and natural light from the perforated skin of the main parcours there are intimate exhibition rooms, cafes, shops, conference rooms and other programs of the museum; punctuating the experience.This generous parcours is also a flexible space which welcomes possible temporary exhibitions, movie projections and all kind of events.

The overall shape, with its massive floating “porte a faux” (cantilever), is a strong symbol which will become linked to the city. The undersurface will be used to graphically signal the  events and exhibitions. The entrance gives birth to the two flying wings; one hosts a restaurant terrace and the other protects the café and shop.

©Avenier Cornejo Architectes

To meet the criteria of LEED OR and be environmentally respectful, the toroidal shape facilitates natural light from both sides and transversal ventilation for summer. The solid roof structure with its vegatalised coating reduces heating requirements in winter and creates a natural habitat and improve saving water for indoor use and irrigation. The uses of wind turbines on the south side of the walkway will aid the direct energy needs of the museum. Local wood and natural material will be used for the exhibition spaces

From a world viewpoint, Helsinki is an emerging city; one of the fastest developing metropolitan areas in Europe. It has recently embarked the biggest program of regeneration and development for 200 years; since it became the capital.

This new museum encapsulates an icon for the city, becoming a symbol of its time and leading into the future.


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