GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM | Helsinki, Finland | International Competition
The construction of this new global icon irremediably alludes to its omnipresent and celebrated context: both to the brilliant history of the Guggenheim museums as to the own natural and Modern Architecture Finnish tradition.
Therefore, in its different elevations the museum will pay tribute to the first Guggenheim’s characteristic silhouette, to the “sloping” Finnish architecture, to Alvar Aalto’s “unforgettable” moments or to the mysterious images of logs in endless forests and the Northern Lights. Besides, it claims its condition of contemporary monument by the single fact of its cubic proportion.
In the same way, the inhabited “thin” podium –over which the “stacked” exhibition boxes meet the rest of the programme- continues Helsinki’s own urban tradition for representative buildings. In this case, the traditional stairway is superseded by a universally accessible topography open both to the sea and to the user’s inventiveness.
Nevertheless, the new Guggenheim Helsinki, as a contemporary museum symbol, will construct its image not only out of its iconic condition but, and above all, through the “transparentization” of its inner social “everyday” life. The museum, thus, will happen both inside as outside.
For that, its typology will be the result of the hybridization between an inverted section of Wright’s Guggenheim and the Mall: the circulation spaces will move outside surrounding the “stacked” exhibition boxes and consequently opening not only to the city but to the uncertainty of its own use. Unlike New York and Bilbao, now the escalators –assisted by the lift- articulate this “Situationist” drift of paths, actions and performances open to the city though a huge “semiological” wooden cage: a huge show-window that “transparentizes” a new urban entertainment in between the commercial and the cultural.
Therefore, the exterior exhibiting space is constructed as a flexible, open and changeable “automated social space” where the upper structural ceilings will serve as multimedia and technical support for inner floors so that to enable situations of any kind.
In the same way, the rooms’ typology is that of “open plan”: adaptable enough to house any kind of event. The exhibition spaces are configured, then, as a group of 7 open-plan rooms in different sizes and heights which are vertically piled and articulated by the escalators and lift.
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