The Guggenheim Helsinki will both emphasize as well as smoothly integrate with the poetic context of Helsinki Harbour: cold and iridescent in the winter, green and lush in summer. The profile of the new museum is guided by three topographical characteristics: the horizontal plane of the sea, the regular compactness of the urban fabric and the park. Two flexible vertical layers consisting of rhythmic fins, which deploy dynamically away from the orthogonal lines of the building, generate both artistic tension as well as a bond with the sea, the city and the park. Designed as vibrant transparent screens, their movement and interaction determine the composition of five different cylinders, which allude to an archipelago. An enclosed urban square articulated by the cylindrical atolls, acts as a buffer for the more intimate exhibition areas, while the roof extends Tahtitornin park all the way down to the sea. The exhibition space is characterized by a soft filtered light that washes down from the glass ceiling, designed to suit the requirement for conservation of artworks. It is articulated as an 8-meter high grand gallery for contemporary art, a cylinder of radius 30 meters and 20-meter height and a large hall for the Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design, all free of vertical structures and designed for flexible use. Moreover, the design strategy for Guggenheim Helsinki, conceived in response to the local climatic conditions, leads the search for a sustainable energy model (glacier buffer zone) inspired by the thermal properties of the igloo.
Guggenheim Foundation, City of Helsinki
A2BC, OBR Open Building Research