Project name: Guggenheim Helsinki competition entry
Project location: Helsinki, Finland
Firm name: Ceruzzi and Murphy Projects
The jury was both intrigued and challenged by this project. We liked the design and its clear parti but felt it deliberately disregarded the importance of the harbor front site.
The museum occupies the entire footprint of the site and surrounds its inner landscaped courtyard with a continuous stone clad gallery structure. Inside the courtyard are a series of programmatically unique objects set adrift in a landscaped sculpture garden. These wood clad structures house the theater, café, office tower, and multi-purpose room. Those lucky enough to have access to the upper floors of these pavilions will be rewarded with views of the Helsinki harbor. The only other views to the harbor are through a modest number of vertical slot windows in the bookstore and some other support spaces.
While the parti is clear, well executed, and rendered in a friendly style, we were troubled by the fact that it deliberately turned the energy of the design inward and away from the city. It would have been nice if the visitors to the museum could be rewarded at some point in their journey through the museum with a grander view of Helsinki and the Helsinki harbor. We collectively felt that this would be an excellent design strategy for a more industrial site where there is little redeeming quality in the surrounding context.
Client: Guggenheim Helsinki