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“A wood-constructed art museum set in a seaside urban environment is a public meeting place.”


Case Guggenheim Helsinki

The building becomes a coherent part of the existing urban structure of Helsinki. The museum and its functions open up strongly to the surrounding urban space and become a part of a continuum of public space. The ground floor of the building is open to the public, no admission tickets needed.


The building consists of seven wooden, ship-like pieces and the space left between them. Inside the ships there are exhibition spaces. In the spaces between the ships, visitors can spend time, socialize and take little breathers in the midst of exploring the exhibitions. Targeted views of the most important focal points of Helsinki open up in the spaces between the ships, allowing visitors to see the city from new perspectives.


There’s a strong sense of material in the building, inspired by nature. Robust materials contrasted with the detailed, immaterial-feeling glass façade depict the role of art in society and make the building the city’s energy-efficient heart that beats to the daily rhythm of the city. The materials have been chosen to withstand the challenging and changing weather conditions of the seaside plot.


Competition entry




14 360m²


Helsinki, Finland


Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (competition organizer)


Olli Metso, Tiina Antinoja, Aleksi Rastas, Tuulikki Tanska, Miro Saloranta

building design, museum, public, wood construction