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Helsinki Guggenheim competition: The ones that got away

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December 5 2014

Helsinki Guggenheim competition: The ones that got away
Helsinki’s Guggenheim competition, one of the highest profile architectural contests in recent years, made headlines after drawing 1,715 anonymous entries – an unprecedentedly crowded field that left most unable to cross the Finnish line.

With six finalists now shortlisted for the museum of art and design some of the hundreds who didn’t make the final cut have lifted the lid on their own solutions for the waterfront site 

Amongst those left disappointed were Stallan-Brand Architects whose multi-pronged ‘sea urchin’ drew inspiration from organic forms to wow visitors, writing in their design statement: “The building looks like a giant sea urchin, a pinecone, a snowflake, an explosion, or the kraken from the depths. The buildings spikes and skew spires animate the Helsinki skyline, yet the architecture integrates with the landscape against park Tähtitornin vuori.

“Our proposal playfully oscillates between the sea, land and the city, leaving visitors and viewers with questions.”

Another overlooked practice, Smith Scott Mullan Associates, came forward with their own take on the prized commission by drawing on cultural references such as Upenskin Cathedral and shipping.

Alistair Scott commented: “Our building has been sliced and divided creating a diagonal glazed slash through the building which connects a view from Tahititornin Vuori Park to the Cathedral. The northern half of the building steps back from the water and with a tiered public landscaped garden, provides an enclosed living room for the city in the winter while the southern half opens up to the park.”

Sadly neither scheme is to be leaving the field clear for AGPS Architecture, Asif Khan,Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050, Moreau Kusunoki Architect and SMAR Architecture Studio to duke it out for the honours.
Finland's Nordic climate inspired Stallan-Brand's seasonal thought processes
Finland's Nordic climate inspired Stallan-Brand's seasonal thought processes
Helsinki is seeking to revice its fortunes following the decline of phone giant Nokia
Helsinki is seeking to revice its fortunes following the decline of phone giant Nokia

Smith Scott Mullan's entry referenced the traditional Finnish industries of shipping and timber
Smith Scott Mullan's entry referenced the traditional Finnish industries of shipping and timber
The Guggenheim has a total estimated construction value of 130m euros
The Guggenheim has a total estimated construction value of 130m euros

The harbour is addressed with a new promenade in SSM's proposal
The harbour is addressed with a new promenade in SSM's proposal

5 Comments

james
#1 Posted by james on 5 Dec 2014 at 11:35 AM
Stallan-Brand's entry is fun, but I have it as the Nostromo landing on LV-426 and like Alien, it too, doesn't look too DDA-friendly.
Craig Johnstone
#2 Posted by Craig Johnstone on 5 Dec 2014 at 14:40 PM
Stallan-Brand live the dream guys, very confident. Guggen submission !!
Santa
#3 Posted by Santa on 5 Dec 2014 at 15:27 PM
Well done Stallan Brand team, pretty brave + excessive proposal
broonym
#4 Posted by broonym on 8 Dec 2014 at 11:18 AM
Reminds me of Heatherwick's B of the Bang Sculpture but on a grand scale. Ambitious and worthy proposal.
Mike
#5 Posted by Mike on 9 Dec 2014 at 09:34 AM
Stallan-Brand i'm sure Superman would have loved his summer house to be in Helsinki. I love the quirkyness.

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