Santos Prescott and Associates

site by 67a2 media


Helsinki, Finland

10,000 square meters

The prompt for wood suggested a concept: an abstraction of waves against a wooden ship’s hull. A series of “super-ellipse” structural timber rings, clad in wood and zinc, houses the exhibition spaces–conditioned boxes within the protected hull. The massive timber structure is exposed along the circulation and in the multi-level atrium. A wave-like glass wall encloses the harbor-front lobby.

The building fits the harbor context and scale of long waterfront buildings. The park is extended into the site with a meandering ramp with landscape.

Visitors enter by a porch and museum entry to the north. The lobby will have open access to facilities including retail and dining, while dedicated elevators access the ticketed exhibition floor. A public ice-rink and garden “porch” overlooks the harbor, semi-enclosed within the roof.

Sustainability was critical. The elliptical form provides a thermally efficient envelope housing the galleries and mechanical spaces within its protective enclosure.

Guggenheim Helsinki Proposal