Innovations in cultural and artistic productions often derive from the off-scene, from the not-yet-institutionalised spheres surrounding the established cultural institutions. Museums and their buildings only seldom contribute to new trends. However, the quality of a museum of contemporary art is often measured by its ability to quickly integrate new trends from outside without losing its mission and institutional identity. Helsinki5, the new Guggenheim in Helsinki, enables an institutional identity that is based on a constant exchange with its immediate and more distant surroundings, with local artists and the global art world, with local communities and global audiences. Architecture is a basic condition to bring together these aims and to make the museum what it is in the first place: a public institution. Taking architectural iconicity as a necessary but not sufficient condition, Helsinki5 proposes a design that pushes the boundaries of modern and contemporary art museums by overcoming the borders between art, architecture, and the public. A key element of this approach is to provide multiple offers to interpret the building and multiple ways to use the spaces it creates. Helsinki5 is a multidimensional museum that proposes to rethink the museum space as a more or less neutral, more or less linear succession of rooms. It also leaves behind the grand horizontal spaces that some of the museum projects of the last decades around the world feature. Instead, it strengthens the vertical dimension and with it the different connections between outside and inside, between gallery spaces, event spaces, indulgence areas, and education spaces. Helsinki5 translates the aim of being first and foremost a public place into lowering the thresholds and bringing closer together visitors and art, and visitors and building.
- Mission: Competition
- Collaboration: HaasCookZemmrich
- Year: 2014