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Guggenheim Foundation proposes architectural competition for Helsinki museum

Leaders of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Tuesday presented a revised proposal for developing a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki. The presentation contained a proposal an architectural competition as the next step towards a new art museum in the Finnish capital.

Alue, johon Helsingin Guggenheim-museot suunnitellaan rakennettavaksi.
The area marked in red outlines the proposed site. Image: Guggenheim Helsinki

The site under consideration for the new museum building is approximately 13,000 square metres, located along the southwestern edge of the South Harbour. The museum building would occupy 12,000 square metres of the area and include around 4,000 square metres of exhibition space, making its galleries comparable in size to those of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Foundation representatives are hoping that the City of Helsinki will make a decision this autumn on reserving the space for an architectural competition.

According to the proposal, a Guggenheim Helsinki is envisioned as having a strong focus on Nordic and international architecture and design and their intersection with other forms of modern and contemporary art.

New financing plan

As put forth by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Ari Wiseman, Deputy Director, the estimate of operating costs has come down by ten percent from a similar proposal rejected last year. In addition, administrative costs are down from two million euros to one million.

If the project goes ahead, the licensing fee will be funded by private sources. Funding was a key issue when a proposal was narrowly defeated in a vote in the city council last year.

According to Guggenheim Foundation representatives the latest proposal is intended to stimulate further public discussion on the issue.

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