Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition Exhibition, Guggenheim Helsinki Now, Presents Top Submissions, April 25– May 16 at the Kunsthalle Helsinki

February 12, 2015

Exhibition: Guggenheim Helsinki Now
Venue: Kunsthalle Helsinki, Nervanderinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Dates: April 25–May 16, 2015
Media Preview: Thursday, April 23, 10 am–noon

From April 25 to May 16, 2015, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation will present the free, public exhibition Guggenheim Helsinki Now at the Kunsthalle Helsinki in Finland. Augmented by a series of talks, events, and performances designed to engage a range of age groups, the exhibition will reveal to the public for the first time the final designs submitted by the six finalist teams in the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, as well as fifteen designs awarded honorable mentions by the jury. Visitors to the exhibition also will be invited to explore interactive installations that present analyses and interpretations of the data compiled from all 1,715 submissions to the competition.

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, stated, “Like the competition, this exhibition is meant to do more than show what architectural form a Guggenheim museum might take in Helsinki. It is an opportunity for a broad audience to consider a range of possible futures for a critical area of the Helsinki waterfront, with art and architecture at the heart of those scenarios. We invite the public to join us in imagining the museum of the future, discussing the issues that these designs have raised, and diving into the kind of thinking that the jury will be doing as it prepares to select the winning design.”

“Guggenheim Helsinki is not yet a physical place, but it is already providing a compelling medium for contemplating the present and future of architecture and the role of a twenty-first-century museum,” said Ari Wiseman, Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. “Through the exhibition and related community and education programs, we aim to offer a clear and compelling example of the multifaceted public engagement that is at the core of the Guggenheim’s mission and that we hope to develop and advance in new ways in Helsinki.”

Guggenheim Helsinki Now presents a snapshot of the competition at this key milestone in its timeline, chronicling its history and projecting its potential outcomes. By drawing on the historic global response to the competition, the exhibition also will provide insights into the state of architecture today. In addition to spotlighting the final proposals of the six shortlisted architecture firms and the fifteen honorable mentions, the exhibition will present collaborative works by Finnish and American designers and technologists who have used digital methods to analyze and interpret the robust archive of submissions as a platform for stimulating discussion and collecting public feedback.

Guggenheim Helsinki Now is curated by Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator for Architecture and Digital Initiatives, with Ashley Mendelsohn, Project Assistant, Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

“The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition is a catalyst to think differently,” said Therrien. “The six finalists were selected for demonstrating their ability to do so by a jury that operated in the same spirit. The exhibition is designed to carry this mantle forward, going beyond the role of simply presenting to creating an active form of engagement and interface with the citizens of Helsinki.”

The exhibition will present the final 3D building models and drawings developed by the six finalist teams: AGPS Architecture Ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, United States of America), Asif Khan Ltd. (London, United Kingdom), Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (New York, United States of America; Barcelona, Spain; and Sydney, Australia), Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart, Germany), Moreau Kusunoki Architectes (Paris, France), and SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Spain, and Western Australia), as well as work from the designers selected for honorable mentions by the jury.

Jan Förster, Director, Kunsthalle Helsinki, stated, “Kunsthalle Helsinki has always strived to be topical and to ignite public discussion. The Kunsthalle has not hosted an exhibition on architecture for a while now, so it is great that the Guggenheim Foundation has chosen it to be the venue for showcasing the results of an international design competition. We look forward to the additional programming the Guggenheim has produced for this exhibition.”

Competition Next Steps

Following the exhibition, the jury will meet in Helsinki to select the winning design. The winning design will be announced in June 2015, with an award of €100,000 (approximately $136,000) for the first-place team and €55,000 (approximately $75,000) for each runner-up.

Team Biographies

AGPS Architecture Ltd. was founded in 1984 and is led by principals Marc Angélil, Sarah Graham, and Manuel Scholl. Among its recent notable projects are the Portland Aerial Tram in Portland, Oregon; the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles; the B35 Apartment Building in Zurich; Dock Midfield, Zurich International Airport; the Zurich International School; a headquarters extension of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Gland-Geneva; and an urban upgrading project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Asif Khan Ltd. was founded by principal Asif Khan in 2007 upon his graduation from the Architectural Association. Notable projects include the MegaFaces Pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (awarded a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation); the Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion at the 2012 Olympic Games in London (with Pernilla Ohrstedt); Radiant Lines for The Light in Winter Festival 2014 in Melbourne, a shortlisted design for the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015; and Parhelia for Swarovski at Design Miami.

Fake Industries Architectural Agonism was founded in 2007 by principals Urtzi Grau (who currently teaches at the Princeton School of Architecture and Cooper Union) and Cristina Goberna (who currently teaches at Columbia University). Dedicated to the proposition that public potential remains unexplored in the existing built environment, the firm has produced or reproduced a variety of exhibitions, writings, and proposals, as well as projects that include a new velodrome for the City of Medellín and Superphosphates, a master plan for the nineteenth-century mining village of Aldea Moret in the west of Spain.

Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 was founded in 2012 by principals Martin Haas, David Cook, and Stephan Zemmrich in Stuttgart, Germany. Notable projects in Germany include the City Quarter T5 in Mannheim; Alnatura headquarters in Darmstadt; Geometry Global headquarters in Hamburg; the Rheinschloss Wohnturm, a new entrance to the town of Waldshut (currently under construction); and the redesign of the Kulturhaus Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg (in progress).

Moreau Kusunoki Architectes was founded in 2012 by principals Kusunoki Hiroko and Nicolas Moreau. Notable projects include the new Théâtre du Beauvaisis; the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain in Marseille; the Matsuri Boëtie Restaurant in Paris; and the plaza for the new Palais de Justice designed by Renzo Piano at the Porte de Clichy in Paris.

SMAR Architecture Studio was founded in 2007 by principal Fernando Jerez. Built projects include Scaffolder (2006) for the Horizons of Public Housing exhibition in Madrid; a series of sustainable pavilions for exhibitions and fairs presented in Madrid and Barcelona from 2006 through 2011 (Paper Pavilion, Polyester Pavilion, Spiber Pavilion, Garden Pavilion); and Pipe House in Madrid (2013), a conversion of an industrial building to housing with minimal cost and intervention.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum, including with the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the foundation can be found at

About Kunsthalle Helsinki

Completed in 1928, Kunsthalle Helsinki has been used as an exhibition space throughout its history. The focus of the exhibitions is on contemporary art but the exhibition program also includes design and architecture. Kunsthalle Helsinki does not have a collection of its own, but serves as a venue for changing exhibitions.

Designed by architects Hilding Ekelund (1893–1984) and Jarl Eklund (1876–1962), Kunsthalle Helsinki is a prime example of 1920s classicism and a prime example of this style in Finland. The building itself is protected and defined as a culturally and historically important architectural monument.

The Kunsthalle Helsinki is run by a private foundation supported by various artist and art organizations, including the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo, and the City of Helsinki.

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More Information

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Media Contacts

Jukka-Pekka Myllys
(358) 45 673 3056

Tina Vaz
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
1 212 360 4284