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Helsinki Guggenheim contest may be most popular-ever open competition

The major international contest for a new €130 million Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital of Helsinki could become the largest competition ever after its organiser admitted he expected more than 1,000 entries

Malcolm Reading of Malcolm Reading Consultants said that, even before its official launch today (4 June), more than 700 people had asked to be notified of the start of the two-stage contest for the 12,000m² museum.

Bids could potentially exceed the record 1,557 entries to the Giza Museum contest in Egypt, won by Heneghan Peng in 2003.

Reading said: ‘The competition we ran for the Glasgow School of Art extension had around 180 entries, and another contest for housing in Haiti had about 400 entries. But this is in a different league. It is a spectacular contest.’

The Guggenheim, which has used Frank Gehry on a number of jobs, is using an open and anonymous competition to choose an architect for the first time.

Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said they hoped to ‘attract the finest architectural thinking from both emerging and established practices’.

The winner will be chosen by a jury led by dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Mark Wigley and including a star-studded list of architects including Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang, Rainer Mahlamäki of Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects, and founder of Atelier Bow-Wow Yoshiharu Tsukamoto.

Six shortlisted teams will be announced in November and given until March 2015 to work up designs for a prominent plot in the city’s South Harbour (pictured).

The winner is set to be announced in June 2015.

Click here for more information.

Rules and schedule of the competition

Anonymous submissions for stage one of the competition are due 10 September 2014. An eleven member jury chaired by Mark Wigley, professor and dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, will meet in Helsinki and select six finalists from the submissions received during stage one.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of their architectural design, relationship to the site and the cityscape, practicality for users, sustainability (including criteria for the use of materials), and feasibility.
An online exhibition will enable the public to view all entries in stage one, with special prominence given to the thirty highest-rated submissions.

In November 2014, the Guggenheim will announce the finalists and stage two of the competition will begin.

Shortlisted individuals or firms will have until March 2015 to make their submissions.

The jury will meet again in Helsinki to judge the final entries.

The Guggenheim will announce the winner in June 2015.

The winner of the competition will be awarded €100,000 and the five runner-ups will each receive €55,000.

The City of Helsinki and the State of Finland are expected to deliberate on whether to proceed with the construction and development of the museum after the competition concludes.

Further information can be found on the competition website.

Previous story (AJ 29.04.14)

Malcolm Reading to run contest for new Guggenheim museum

The City of Helsinki is set to launch an open, international design for a new £107million Guggenheim museum next month

The contest is being run by Malcolm Reading Consultants and backed by the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and will officially open on 4 June.

The City’s governing board has earmarked a waterfront plot in the city’s South Harbour for the project - despite previous opposition to the high-profile project.

An earlier proposal for the museum was shelved by the same board in 2012 amid concerns over the project’s cost. A poll of city residents found 75 per cent opposed the scheme.

The Guggenheim Foundation subsequently put forward a second proposal featuring a ten per cent reduction in operating and administrative costs which was approved by the city board in January.

Malcolm Reading, architect and chairman, Malcolm Reading Consultants, said: ‘The site on Helsinki’s historic waterfront has great civic and cultural promise. When combined with the renown of the Guggenheim’s name and mission, I am sure it will inspire the competitors to create distinctive and memorable designs that will resonate with local residents and speak to an international audience.”

The competition is expected to run for twelve months.

To sign up to receive more information about the competition, go to designguggenheimhelsinki.org.

The proposed Guggenheim site in Helsinki, Finland. Image by Ari Wiseman

Source: Image by Ari Wiseman

The proposed Guggenheim site in Helsinki, Finland. Image by Ari Wiseman

Previous story (AJ 02.04.14)

Helsinki to launch contest for new Guggenheim museum

The City of Helsinki is set to launch a design competition for a new Guggenheim museum

The Finnish capital – with support from the Guggenheim Foundation – will officially launch the international competition on 4 June.

The contentious, high-profile contest is expected to run for twelve months and has an estimated budget of £1.8 million.

Helsinki’s governing board earmarked a waterfront plot in the city’s South Harbour for the project in January - despite previous opposition to the high-profile project.

An earlier proposal for the museum was shot down by the same board in 2012 amid concerns over the project’s cost.

At the time the development was estimated to cost £100 million and include an annual licences fee of £20 million alongside running costs of £12 million a year. A poll of city residents found 75 per cent opposed the scheme.

The Guggenheim Foundation then put forward a second proposal featuring a ten per cent reduction in operating and administrative costs which was approved by the city board in January.

A final decision on whether proceed with the prestigious museum will be taken once the competition completes.

The Finnish Association of Architects, the City of Helsinki and the State of Finland will assist the Guggenheim Foundation which will organise the privately funded selection process.

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