Two teams with Australian offices have made the six-strong shortlist in the competition to design Helsinki’s new Guggenheim museum, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (Cristina Goberna, Urtzi  Grau), Jorge Lopez Conde, Carmen Blanco, Alvaro Carrillo (New York/Sydney) and SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid /Perth) chosen from a massive pool of 1,715 submissions.

*Click on the thumbnail images below to see full design concepts including plans and images

The contest, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, invited concept schemes for a 12,000sqm waterfront museum in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

The competition attracted more entries than other architectural competition in history and the range of participating countries demonstrates its popularity across the globe.

Switzerland’s AGPS Architecture, London’s Asif Khan, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Germany’s Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050, Moreau Kusunoki Architect of Paris and SMAR Architecture Studio were the six architectural practices named on the shortlist.

In an interesting twist unique to the competition, the shortlisted designs released to the public and jury have not been matched to the teams, and the winning team will not be named until the winning concept is selected in June 2015.

The brief asked for the highest quality architectural expression that created a presence in Helsinki. Submissions needed to incorporate galleries, a flexible performance hall, educational space, a large café/bar, a smaller formal restaurant, administrative offices, practitioner spaces, collections storage, a retail store, and other facilities. Outdoor spaces for the display of sculpture and projects were also needed and it was asked to be designed within the anticipated €130 million price tag.

The six finalists will now visit the site for the proposed Helsinki Guggenheim in January before producing detailed designs and physical models by March 2015.

The winner will receive €100,000 with the runners-up each netting €55,000.

THE DESIGNS: (courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants Limited)

(click on image to see the full concept boards and descriptions)

Name: GH-04380895
Description: The design of the Guggenheim Helsinki and its woven landscape are based upon a sensitive and sympathetic approach to the context and nature of Helsinki. The fragmental design encourages people to flow within a new cultural core that is linked to the rest of the city, through the port promenade and the pedestrian footbridge to Tahtitorninvuori Park. This flexible access welcomes not only the visitors but also serves as a key cultural destination for the community.

The museum skyline is composed by independent volumes highlighted by landmark tower. These fragmental art exhibition spaces allow strong integration with outdoor display and event spaces, while the vertical sky galleries offer a new perspective over the city of Helsinki. This new museum concept together with the charred timber façade echoes the process of regeneration that occurs when forests burn and then grow back stronger.

Name:  GH-1128435973
Description: Two-in-one museum

The project proposes two facilities that establish a dialog with each other – a museum made of two museums.

The first museum is on the ground or tarmac level of the port facility. The existing terminal is re-used and re-appropriated for multiple activities. It is conceived as a public space, extending the pedestrian boardwalk into the building – a place for education and outreach within the city.

The second museum is the museum as such, in so far as it houses exhibitions. The structure is in the air and hovers above the first. As a hall on stilts, partly removed from the everyday life below, the building offers a place of refuge, adhering to the notion of the museum as an “other space.”

One museum is for display and the other functions as an incubator of ideas. With this, the Guggenheim Helsinki can engage its stakeholders to co-create value.

Name: GH-121371443
Description: “quiet animal”

Our proposal takes the form of a Helsinki city block rotated to the harbour front.

Helsinki city blocks in the 1800s were named after wild animals. The proposed new block will have the tactile familiarity of a pet’s fur.

Six timber-clad galleries are stacked over two levels and flanked by a seventh for administration and retail. Public spaces are formed between these and an intelligent textured glass skin wrapping the entirety to precisely diffuse light, translucent below, and transparent above.

The ground floor galleries can join to form one super-space, enabling a wide range of curatorial approaches. Two distinct staircases - one convivially wide, the other helical, enable visitors to wayfind without retracing paths. The wider staircase is also used for film screenings. “Art Kioski” annex for young Nordic art twins the northern market hall and the service pavilion encloses a sculpture garden to the south.

Description: Helsinki is a city of interiors. Due to its extreme climatic conditions, Helsinki’s civic society blossoms indoors. They form a robust network spaces that hosts and nurtures public life; interior public life.

31 Rooms, extends the network using the architectural technologies that construct Helsinki’s interior citizenry: i.e. walls, doors, windows, and the machinery that defines atmospheric conditions. While the new museum attaches to the network of existing conditions, leaves them undisturbed.

31 Rooms reuses the laminated wood structure of the existing Makasiini terminal to rebuild a wooden volume that follows the exact geometry of the original building. The rest of the massing respects the maximum height of the old terminal and reproduce its profile ensuring that the current views from the park and the adjacent buildings are preserved.

31 Rooms contains eight rooms of 20x20m, eighteen of 6.5x6.5m four of 10x10m and one of 40x100m. that offer an alternative notion of flexibility based on a rigid set of spatial conditions rather than temporal partitions. Over time, the rooms’ dimensions won’t change over time while the way they are used will.

31 Rooms Is bu9ild using Finnish Cross Laminated Timber Panels and Greenhouse like EFTE roofs. Since energy loss grows exponentially with temperature difference each room of 31 Rooms is acclimatized independent, forming a thermal onion that optimizes climate areas according to levels of access. Yet Each room’s final climatic conditions include certain degree of negotiation between the institution and its visitors.

31 Rooms questions the climatic conventions that mediate each of the artistic categories mentioned before, including the hygrometric chart to the tool box of curatorial strategies.

31 Rooms represent a new model within the global Guggenheim constellation, offering an opportunity for the foundation to develop a museum of the future with radical, multidisciplinary approaches to engaging new audiences with culture at large. The Guggenheim Helsinki will become a curatorial innovation reference centre for the other Guggenheim museums.

Name: GH-5631681770

1. The City and the Harbour

  • 1.3 The Site

The Design of the new Guggenheim Museum must be seen as an opportunity to create a linked Connection between City and Harbour.

2. The Program

  • The Evolution of Museum Space

Museums have changed from institutions where information was directed in only one way: towards the viewer into institutions that are increasingly creating conversations with the viewer.

We need a really radical change in how people use museums now.

We propose a new Experience not only for the visitor, but for the Citizen.

A critical shift from the idea of a building as a static object to a building that can accommodate the flux of daily life, the life of Street Art.

  • The Extra City Space

We propose a Strategy that could offer back to the City of Helsinki an Extra Space at no additional cost.

An added value for the City that transcends traditional Exhibition Spaces.

We propose an Interior Street, an additional un-programmed space, which is not included in the original brief, that open the building up to citizen’s appropriation, and allow it to remain structurally relevant through the present and well into the future.

The Interior Street, an Extra City Space, proposes a set of Unique Spaces that contains an almost unlimited number of conditions and situations that Public Space could offer to present, to study, (re) contextualize, or even provoke the people that enters it, whatever form it takes.

  • Gallery Art + Street Art

The translation of the budget into a double space, a combination of 2 programs -The Museum -Gallery Art- and The Extra Space -Street Art- in a single building allows us to explore the relationship between 2 structures. Using both factors, we had the chance to add, subtract, divide... We decided to multiply.

The un-programmed Extra Space and its structural flexibility prompts citizens to engage with it as productive and creative users of space.

The long, interior shape will contain the Interior Street while its outer surface defines the Museum space, left between the form and the envelope.

Description: Adorning the waters edge. A cluster of slender timber towers provides a stunning addition to the city skyline. The sculptural form lends the Guggenheim a “Beacon-like” appearance, attracting visitors arriving by land or sea.

A majestic public place in the city.
The towers are gathered around a soaring cathedral-like central space, providing a unique home for public events on the waterfront.

A chest for treasures.
The galleries are housed in introverted timber cabinets, stacked within the towers. Bridges between the towers offer the visitor valuable respite with a sequence of new viewing points.

A showcase.
By drawing on the experience of local craftsmen to use local products in the application of simple construction techniques the towers will become a source of local pride.

Expanding heritage.
The play of light and shadow with the massive forms of the towers fashions a new architectural icon and a fitting home for the Guggenheim.