Out of a record-breaking 1,715 entries submitted for the competition to design the new Guggenheim Helsinki, The Guggenheim has announced six finalists and, surprisingly, there aren't any starchitects in the shortlist. The chosen entries offer diverse approaches to the design of the new museum and its relationship with the surrounding urban fabric.
The shortlist includes practices with offices in seven countries: London-based Asif Khan, Zurich firm AGPS Architecture, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 from Stuttgart, Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki Architect, and Australian studio SMAR Architecture. Although the names of the shortlisted firms were revealed, their submissions are marked by registration numbers and it’s still not known which entry belongs to whom.
Entry GH-121371443 is a rectangular building that features a curtain-like facade that seems to envelop the entire structure and gently illuminates it at night. Iconic and simple, this entry offers a distinguished look worthy of Guggenheim.
GH-76091181 is comprised of a cluster of timber buildings with an internal courtyard and surrounding galleries. Nine lifts provide vertical communication, and the design sports a serene atmosphere and materiality that draws upon Finland’s traditional building techniques.
Entry GH-1128435973 is inspired by “industrial vernacular” and emphasizes horizontality and an aesthetic that presents a “compelling response to the Guggenheim principles for the new museum even if it was not fully developed yet,” according to the jury.
Entry GH-04380895 was conceived as a pavilion-like configuration with a tower that acts a lighthouse at night. The complex blends into the environment and has a porous structure that creates a strong connection to the site.
GH-5631681770 is another horizontally conceived design. It is a low black structure with sections of glazing in its center that emanates soft light at night. According to the jury, the project demonstrates “a good understanding of how the city works and the proposal presented valuable research demonstrating a new direction for the museum internally and in relation to the urban fabric.”
Finally, GH-5059206475 uses materials similar to those found in the surrounding architecture. It focuses on “an evolving ecology of materials, forms and atmospheres” and is inspired by an old store house.
The jury, consisting of 11 members, including Mark Wigley, architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow, and Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, chose the six designs out of 1,715 entries. Each of the chosen firms will be given the opportunity to further develop their designs and provide physical models by 2015. The winner will be announced next June and will be awarded €100,000 ($123,000.)