Locating the Guggenheim foundation in the heart of Helsinki opens for speculation on the results of a cultural implant; our proposal imagines an institutional mutation, both organizational and spatial, where Guggenheim’s multinational approach grows adaptive to finish culture, and where public life conquers its architecture.
We propose one public destination with two distinctive and interlocking cultural offers: “The Guggenheim Galleries” and an outdoor museum called “Guggenheim City”.


Completed 2014


The Guggenheim Foundation

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter


Helsinki, Finland


20.000 m²


RIB Florian Kosche


Museum, public space

The given functions in the competition program expand and extend throughout the entire lot, forming an urban landscape fully equipped for art production, exhibition, performances and happenings. This arena shall perform as a moderator between city and museum, where outdoor and indoor activities support each other seasonally by exploiting all their potential synergies in seamless integration with the waterfront’s public space.




Section North-South 1:250

Axonometric circulation
Flow and flexibility is key factors in the exhibition spaces.

The project has a gradient of publicness; 
outside, inside, under and above..

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Main atrium

Exhibition hall

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Structural Concept
The Box spans over the public ground, landing on the eastern ridge and touching on the staircase in the west. The box consists of trusses that form the walls of the exhibition spaces. The trusses span 34 m between the two diaphragm walls in the support lines of the box. The diaphragm walls collect loads from the exhibition spaces and distribute them into the support lines through their truss grid. The eastern diaphragm wall allows the box to cantilever towards the south and the north. Trusses and diaphragm walls are proposed in steel for high capacity in joints and ease of installation. Access structures in the west provide their own structural systems and lateral stiffness to the main structure.

Massive wooden floors and walls span between the trusses, which reduce the dead load substantially and allow easily to install fasteners for museum installations anywhere. Reduction of the structures dead load is for us the main key to reduce the environmental impact of construction. Less material is necessary in all parts including the foundation system, which also leads to less transport and potentially shorter construction time.
The façade structure consists of a regular grid supported by the main structural system.Timber leads to simple cold bridge details and thereby allows the façade structure to be consistent between cold, semi climatized and climatized spaces.


We propose a scale of 3 climate types for all the indoor functions: fully conditioned, partially conditioned and naturally conditioned. This principle shall stablish a kWh consumption gradient between outdoor areas on ground level and the exhibition galleries on the upper floors. Most importantly, such an approach will help defining the different moods and atmospheres of the public areas.


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