Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition “Wovenscape” (2014)

Location : Helsinki, Finland
Program : Art Museum
Design Team : Toshiki Hirano, Hui Wang
Assistant : Justin Jianing Hsu, Rikako Ikegami, Jenny Kan, Dalia Frontini

The prominent features of the Guggenheim museums are their distinct gallery space configurations, such as the Spiral of New York and the Centrifugal of Bilbao. We came up with the new type for the Guggenheim Helsinki: the Loop. Surrounded by unique features of the central area of the city of Helsinki, this Gallery Loop will weave the pedestrian, bike pathway and other urban networks of Helsinki. The Gallery Loop is approximately 400 meters in length which is equivalent to 430 meters of Guggenheim NY, and its simple circulation system enables visitors to easily tour through the entire exhibition programs. Three entrances to the gallery space maintain smooth access to the gallery and the circulation even in the event of galleries undergoing changeovers. While the gallery has conventional flexible exhibition spaces, it also has space with unique features that can be facilitated by artists’ creativities.
The Gallery Loop and the landscape are interwoven to create topographically diverse spaces. It fuses art, recreation and nature by providing space for art installation projects, fostering various waterfront recreational activities and educational programs. The Gallery is cantilevered in the north and the south end to emphasize the museum’s configuration, while it submerges into the landscape where the landscape slopes up to house an entrance atrium and other programs. The landscape is extruded into four trapezoidal Light Tubes functioning as light wells, bringing light into the atrium space and become conspicuous points of reference to the building emitting light from the interior at night.
The entrance atrium is a vibrant space housing visitor services, dining space, museum shops and a performance hall under the large-span shell cladded with locally manufactured wood panels. It offers a space for large artwork installations and various cultural/educational events.