Guggenheim Design Competition

Guggenheim Design Competition

Date: 2011 – 2014
Area: 130,243 ft² / 12,100 m²

Helsinki, Finland

The United Kingdom’s Architect’s Journal held an open design competition for the Helsinki Guggenheim museum’s new space. There were more than 1,700 entries to this competition and Studio Twenty Seven Architecture’s design was selected as one of the top 100 entries.

Helsinki’s shipwrights are known for building icebreakers and other special vessels for arctic conditions. This specialized shipbuilding, as well as their position as a leader in the experi­mental use of wood in architecture, influenced the unbuilt museum’s design.


Awards | Press
Architectural Journal, “Top 100 Entries”

© Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

The exterior form of our Helsinki Guggenheim Design Competition entry was inspired by the ice flow that collect each winter in the Helsinki Harbor.

Studio Twenty Seven Architecture Guggenheim Museum Helsinki
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture Guggenheim Museum Helsinki Gallery rendering

The large gallery volume, built of Finnish fir, envelops visitors as they enter the building. The central gallery connects all major points of interest within the museum – starting at the lower level gift shop and continuing to the main atrium level. The galleries offer traditional methods of display and allow for maximum control of hu­midity and light conditions, while the atrium and circulation spaces offer opportunities for site specific installations and performances.

On the urban scale the proposed building would act as the missing link between the two major public zones west and north of the site.

In addition to the 4,000 m² of exhibition space, programming included multipurpose zones, performance and conference halls, classrooms and laboratory spaces, a café, retail store, collections storage and general maintenance and operations spaces.

Helsinki’s northern climate requires special attention to the design and placement of insulation throughout the building. The build­ing envelope consists of insulation sandwiched between concrete walls, a double skin glass facade and a thick green roof. The central volume provides natural ventilation of the circulation spaces, keeping mechanical conditioning to a mini­mum. Gallery spaces are lit with a combination of artificial light and daylight transmitted through fiber-optic technologies.