Guggenheim Museum, Helsinki
The Guggenheim Helsinki museum is organized as a nuanced amalgamation of interlocking galleries of different sizes and proportions organized around a large indoor courtyard. Based on the city grid from the north and west, the building plan side-steps towards the south and east in finer grain to mediate the southern axis defined by the harbor edge, thereby forming a lively waterfront façade.
Instead of introverted “white boxes”, the galleries are conceived as timber boxes whose walls slide past one another to open up views and orientation to the outside as well as inwardly to the central courtyard. These shifting boundaries allow for windows, skylights, terraces and openings for direct or indirect natural light conditions with blackout possibility.
The result is an intriguing arrangement of vertical and horizontal planes that support one another in a 3-dimensional reciprocal structure utilizing a combination of Finnish engineered timber elements that form accessible walls of various thicknesses around galleries. The sequence through these galleries whose heights range from 6m to 12m, provides variety and flexibility that are ideal exhibiting conditions for both artists and curators, and engages the viewer with an interactive experience.