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The Helsinki design story continues: Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition starts 4 June


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s Design Competition for the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki museum starts on 4 June, 2014. The open, international architectural competition is expected to arouse great interest. More than 700 inquiries about participation have been received from around the world even before the official start of the competition.

– The international architectural competition is an exceptional experiment for Helsinki and a great chance to visualise both future urban environments and future museum concepts, says Ritva Viljanen, Deputy Mayor for Educational and Cultural Affairs of the City of Helsinki.

– Helsinki is one of the most interesting architecture and design cities in the world at the moment. We have a long heritage of design and architecture, but we are also constantly constructing new areas and developing new services by means of design. We are thrilled to be the object of this competition.

The aim of the architectural competition is to find an innovative, original and ecologically sustainable multidisciplinary museum building for the South Harbour in Helsinki. It should be sensitive to the historic waterfront setting and reflect a design informed by Nordic ideals, including openness and accessibility.

The entries should adopt an approach to the current change in the Helsinki cityscape, where city waterfronts and former harbour areas have been released and are now developed as residential and recreational areas for the citizens of Helsinki.

The architectural competition connects to the Helsinki design story and the bigger change of the city culture. Both the Helsinki City Art Museum and the privately owned Amos Anderson Art Museum will expand their premises in the city centre and develop their operations during the next few years. The planned Helsinki Central Library is outlined as a living room for the citizens of Helsinki. The World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project and its extension, the Design Driven City project, utilise design in their search for solutions to the challenges that the City faces as a service provider and as a builder of a more welcoming city.

– Seen from this perspective, the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition is a unique opportunity for Helsinki to continue a dialogue with the world on how design and architecture can be used to make life better, easier and more fun. Helsinki is a forward-looking city, where design is seen as a key driver for the society and an important source of well-being and competitiveness, says Laura Aalto, Communications Director of the Design Driven City project.

Schedule of the Competition

The Stage One of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition will end on 10 September, 2014. An eleven member jury chaired by Mark Wigley, professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, will meet in Helsinki and select six finalists from the submissions received during Stage One. The jury is composed of representatives of, among others, the City of Helsinki, the State of Finland, and the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA).

The six finalists will be announced in November 2014. The Stage Two of the competition will end in the spring of 2015 and the winner will be announced in June, 2015.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim foundation is organizing the architectural competition in consultation with the City of Helsinki, the State of Finland, and the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA). The competition is managed by the London-based firm Malcolm Reading Consultants.

The City of Helsinki and the State of Finland are expected to deliberate on whether to proceed with the construction and development of the museum after the competition concludes.

Further information on the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition and registration for the competition at


Guggenheim Helsinki website:


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s proposal for the founding of the Guggenheim Helsinki museum:


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