The Guggenheim Museum Helsinki

Prize Winner in Architectural Design / Cultural Architecture
Firm LocationEvanston, United States
CompanyMyefski Architects
Lead DesignerJohn Myefski
Design Team Brian Wagner, Josh Sacks, Chris Myefski

The Guggenheim Foundation sought a design for a waterfront museum with a year-round focus on culture and entertainment to serve as a central gathering place for residents and visitors. Pulling inspiration from the Finnish countryside, the landscape mimics a large tapestry of fabric, ebbing and flowing with the rolling plains and low hills. In an effort to bring that natural beauty to the downtown area, the design imagines taking the fertile countryside and lifting it onto the site. Keeping the traditional Finnish philosophy of every man’s right to roam in mind, the design begins by creating an integrated pedestrian connection. As one travels up the path toward the hillside and over the exhibition space below, the landscaped rooftop lends itself to the overall experience of art, architecture, and the vista beyond. Turning the traditional layout of a museum inside out, the design provides visitors with an experience that alternates between interior and exterior spaces. The interior of the main exhibition hall can be viewed from the pathway outside as one circulates around the large architectonic form. From there, the design unfurls into several natural gathering spaces where museum visitors can enjoy where the city meets the water.