Guggenheim seeks architect to design Helsinki satellite

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Open competition launch in June as hope springs eternal for Finnish branch

By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 01 April 2014

Proposed site of a Guggenheim Helsinki, photo by Ari Wiseman

The Guggenheim and its Finnish partners are due to launch an international competition on 4 June to find an architect to design a Helsinki satellite, a spokeswoman for the New York foundation confirms. Last week, representatives from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation travelled to the Finnish capital to discuss details of the open competition. A job advertisement also appeared last week for a New York-based co-ordinator for the Helsinki branch which, subject to funding and political support, would be built in the city’s South Harbour.

A revised plan published at the end of last year proposed a Guggenheim in Helsinki that would be a collecting institution with a focus on Nordic and international architecture and design, and their connection to contemporary art. An initial proposal for a kunsthalle was narrowly voted down by the city’s councillors in 2012, despite the enthusiastic backing of Helsinki’s mayor Jussi Pajunen.

The architectural competition is being co-organised with the Finnish Association of Architects and has been partly sponsored by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. It also has the support of the City of Helsinki and the Finnish government, local media reports.

In January, the Guggenheim announced that a decision to go ahead with the project would be taken after the architectural competition is completed.

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