The design, which resembles a more austere, dark-but-not-quite-post-apocalyptic version of the Guggenheim Bilbao, “invites visitors to engage with museum artwork and programs across a gathering of linked pavilions and plazas organized around an interior street.” The Goth Bilbao in Helsinki is clad in charred local timber and glass. Nine volumes and a tower mimic waves and a lighthouse along the harbor, while a promenade meanders along the South Harbor’s waterfront and a pedestrian footbridge connects to the nearby park.
“I extend the Guggenheim’s warmest congratulations to Moreau Kusunoki for having achieved the design goals of this competition with such elegance, sensitivity, and clarity,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “I also want to express our admiration and gratitude to the other five finalists and to all of the architects who participated in this competition.”
Jury chair Mark Wigley, professor and dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, said at the announcement that “Moreau Kusunoki has titled its proposal ‘Art in the City,’ a name that sums up the qualities the jury admired in the design,” he continued, “The waterfront, park, and nearby urban area all have a dialogue with the loose cluster of pavilions, with people and activities flowing between them. The design is imbued with a sense of community and animation that matches the ambitions of the brief to honor both the people of Finland and the creation of a more responsive museum of the future.”