Guggenheim Museum, Helsinki,Finland (Competition
SAARISTO - Origins of the Baltic
Standing at the very intersection of East and West… A knot is formed in the grain of an international community. In a dynamic landscape, situated between park, harbor and an historical urban edge, the architecture is composed as an exceedingly clear gesture founded through the represented spirit of a culture and a nation. Lying on the coast like a piece of driftwood washed ashore, our proposal begins to uncurl and recede into the context acting as a carved branch giving away to time. Instantly symbolic, the proposals radiating vertical elements become redolent of the growth process of wood, the very product that even today begins to define a Finnish culture. Embodying regional tradition and innovation impending, the fluid yet tectonic gesture of this proposal becomes synonymous with time and age – past and future, creating an iconic symbol of an historic city, deeply rooted in the forthcoming.
Like a frost flower translating between material states of liquid, solid & vapor, a museum can thrive in the dark, radiate in the daytime, and be that universal translator in how one experiences art in its various states. The challenge of a museum in an urban setting is to integrate with the fast-paced urban environment and become a pause or break in our everyday lives. Here, we are allowed to take time for ourselves, even if only for a short stay, to open up our minds to possibilities we never knew existed and see the world from a different perspective. The design serves as a symbol for a dynamic 21st-century city by shifting the boundaries between open and closed, urban and art, and by creating new opportunities to display, link and create arts within the city.