Stage Two of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition Brings Finalists to Helsinki and Presents Full Submission Materials to the Public

January 12, 2015

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation today announced that the six architectural teams whose concepts were shortlisted in the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition will visit the city from January 14–16, 2015, to view the site of the proposed new museum, receive further briefing on the building program and feedback on their initial designs, and present their previous work in a free public lecture. The visit is intended to provide the architects with information and insights to help them develop their ideas for final submission in April 2015 and to give Helsinki residents an opportunity to hear directly from the shortlisted teams.

Events planned include a visit to the South Harbor site, followed by briefings with representatives of the City of Helsinki, the State of Finland, and other stakeholders on topics including the art, culture, economy, and urban fabric of Helsinki, and with representatives from the Guggenheim on the history, collections, programs, and exhibitions of the foundation. The teams also will receive in-depth critiques of their shortlisted design proposals from the jury along with additional feedback from key leadership at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. On January 16, at the Scandic Grand Marina hotel, the finalist teams will participate in a free public lecture about their philosophy and practice, beginning at 2 pm.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are:

  • 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)
  • SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Spain, and Western Australia)

While the names of the six teams are now public, the designs have not been matched to the teams, nor will the jurors or public know which team is responsible for which design until the winner has been announced in June 2015.

Ari Wiseman, Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, will co-host the team visit with Helsinki Deputy Mayor Ritva Viljanen. Wiseman stated, “We are delighted to bring together all six of the competition finalists in Helsinki. We hope the Helsinki community will be as excited as we are by the opportunity to meet these extraordinary designers and to hear more about their work. We regard this public engagement as an indispensable element not only of the design competition but of everything we would expect to do in a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki.”

Full Design Competition Submission Content Made Available to Public

As an element of this ongoing public engagement, the Guggenheim has now made available all of the content of the 1,715 first-round submissions to the competition. Since October 2014, an online gallery on the competition website,, has made public the two representative images and concept description that were required for each entry. Now the Guggenheim is sharing the additional, in-depth material required of all competitors: four submission boards that address cityscape, architecture, and usability criteria. This full set of content, which was reviewed by the competition jury during its deliberations, is available for further analysis, investigation, and study at the Guggenheim Helsinki GitHub web page.

“The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has initiated an extraordinary generosity of architectural intelligence toward the Guggenheim, the City of Helsinki, and the State of Finland,” says Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. “Our initiative to open the full data set offers this intellectual capital to the public as a resource to investigate the state of architecture today and its promises for tomorrow.”

Competition Next Steps

Further to the original Competition Conditions presented in Stage One, the Stage Two brief, which offers finalists additional technical information to be considered in the development of their designs, will be available on the competition website on Wednesday, January 14. The shortlisted designs, and a selection of honorable mentions noted by the jury, will be presented in a public exhibition in Helsinki in spring 2015. 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; 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

More Information

Competition website:
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