Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

We believe that the duty of public architecture is to foster memory, which informs us individually and collectively. In our submission for the Guggenheim Museum Helsinki competition, we established a ‘Mnemonic Hub,’ a transitional space that promotes remembrance through pause.

Nature infuses the building from the Observatoriebergets Park, remembering its once direct connection to the water. Echoes of a hull form emerge from the site while its north face rises to address the axis of the city fabric. The main gallery stands as a gateway arch between the park and the water’s edge. Serving as more than a protective surface, tar is employed as a symbol of the Finnish people’s longstanding symbiotic relationship with nature. It is a sustainable practice deeply rooted in tradition. Its use alongside the harbor is more than a nod to this tradition; the tar-cloaked façade calls upon a collective remembering of this legacy.

The building and surrounding areas allow each person space to enjoy nature, community, and art. Open public spaces include the interior street with café, museum shop, and exhibition space, the living roof, sculpture garden, and viewing platforms.

The museum’s design is intended to allow a procession through the various galleries aided by an embedded sensor in your admission ticket. This sensor tracks your movement through the museum and, reading data regarding which works of art you spent the most time with, provides you with additional information on the artist, the work, and its context. This experience is designed to enhance and encourage memory, specifically of your time within the Guggenheim itself.

Year: 2014
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Square Footage: 50,000
Typology: Museum