Huge Response to Helsinki Guggenheim Design Contest

The Proposed Site of the Helsinki Guggenheim Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo via finnisharchitecture.fi

The Guggenheim foundation has been flooded with entries from architects hoping to design the Guggenheim museum in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, Art Daily has reported.

The Guggenheim Foundation, which had never run an open call for museum design proposals before, received 1,715 applications from 77 countries. The director of the Foundation said in a statement “We are awed and humbled by the tremendous response to the call for entries, and we look forward to engaging in a full and public exploration of the submissions in the coming months.”

Bold contemporary architecture is a trademark of the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao and the Guggenheim Foundation hopes the designs of the proposed new museums in Helsinki and Abu Dhabi will be similarly groundbreaking.

The design proposals will be judged anonymously by an international jury. A shortlist consisting of six proposals will be announced on December 2, the winner, receiving a €100,000 prize will be announced in June 2015.

Since a preliminary proposal was submitted in 2011, the Helsinki Guggenheim has been met with fierce political opposition in Finland over the state’s potential financial involvment in the expensive project. However, the Guggenheim Foundation’s estimate that the museum could attract over 500,000 visitors annually seems to have convinced lawmakers to make a site available in the port area of the city centre, although the local government has yet to definitively ratify the proposal.


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