Guggenheim Helsinki

VIEW FROM SOUTH EAST / image courtesy of Building Office © 2014

The common belief is, the curator and the artist are both happier when the architect is less involved with the gallery space in the museum. What is the role of the architect in the contemporary art museum in this case? Designing a fancy hat for the white box? Or scripting the sequence such a way that museum starts to do something more than just being a beautiful sculpture.


We proposed to redefine the site of Guggenheim Helsinki by a 3 x 3m units, as an empty canvas.

The focal point that welcomes the visitors would be the round gallery.The round gallery is wrapped by a spiral walkway that connects two levels of the museum. The walkway surrounds four galleries making a loop connection.


The grid is where the art is attached, removed constantly during the year. Therefore is permanent, is the infrastructure. Indeterminate grid four major galleries. Entrances to these galleries are never from the ground level. The entry moments are suggested to be a variety of experiences. In the round gallery, user enters the space from the mid-level, in the cubes, one gallery is to be entered from the door aligned to the ceiling, the other is from the corner while the final, wider gallery is to be experienced by entering from the opening at the floor plate.



Only technical equipment, collections are to be carried into the gallery spaces from the ground level openings using trucks. The ground level already is occupied – dominated by the traffic from the Helsinki port and is unpleasant because of the presence of the highway next to it. The perimeter of the building is effected by the cold climate most of the year therefore is not considered as the main focus of the design. The building is enhancing the inwards experience of the space: the great courtyards of art.