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Guggenheim architectural competition faces postponement

The start of the architectural competition for the proposed Helsinki Guggenheim museum may be postponed by months. According to Mari Koskinen of the Finnish Association of Architects, the current preparation time of 1.5 months is unrealistic.

Guggenheimin museon mahdollinen tontti Helsingin Eteläsatamassa.
On Monday the Helsinki City Council reserved a plot in the city's South Harbour for a period of two years. Image: Yle

Sana-Mari Jäntti, director of Miltton Networks, a company managing Finnish communications for the Guggenheim Foundation, said that the competition to select a design for the proposed Helsinki museum could begin in February or March.

However Mari Koskinen, competition secretary for the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, said that organising an international architectural competition could take as long as six months, depending on how well the competition material is prepared in advance.

Ari Wiseman, deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim, said on Monday that the foundation didn’t want to prepare too much ahead of the competition because it “wanted to respect the political process”.

Wiseman’s comments support Koskinen’s view that there would still be much work ahead of launching the contest. There has also been no ground covered in terms of naming judges to evaluate the entries.

Earlier this week, the Guggenheim Foundation withdrew an application for state funding for the competition, following objections to the use of public funds by the Green League.

On Monday, the Helsinki City Council reserved a plot for a potential Guggenheim museum in the South Harbour, allowing the international architecture competition to proceed. The plot reservation is valid for two years.

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