THE MAIN IDEA - MUSEUM AS AN OPEN PUBLIC SPACE
The proposal for Guggenheim Helsinki is focused on the public sense of space.
In result of this research, museum space is defined not as an closed defined object, building with distinctive silhouette, but as a fluent, full of social activity and interactions, easily accessible, two-level public platform.
Exterior and interior are continuity, making the building more accessible and connected with city public space. In this continuity one element is highlighted – the gallery block.
It’s keeping tension with other elements both in form, and in the character:
While the plaza has a public, social-dynamic and open character, the gallery hides a mystery of personal experience of art, hidden under the outer layer of sightseeing circumvent.
SHAPING THE SPACE
Museum structure is oriented according to the one of the city street grids, which is present in the South Harbour and the central city area.
The plot stays paved, with a few of green exceptions, because it belongs to the urbanized waterfront zone and it is adjacent to the park. This keeps urban structure clean.
Analyzing relation of the plot to other cultural institutions, it appears that it completes the grid of museums and galleries and extends city ‘cultural route’ which formerly was not reaching South Harbour area.
Saving the view from and to the park, most of the museum functions were flatten into one level and hidden under the upper level of the plaza. It uses existing differences of the ground levels between the plot and the way running along it. The only uplifted object is three-storey gallery block with restaurant with garden on the roof.Shaping the public plaza levels, the key issue was to provide wide access both from the extended pedestrian and cycle route (to the upper plaza), and from the northern direction (to the lower plaza with main entrance).
Both of the plazas – the upper, exterior, and the lower – interior main hall, are composed as the fluent spaces with the constellation of particular function objects. This constellation is repeatable on both levels and accessible in various ways.
EXHIBITION SPACE RANGE
The gallery block provides four levels of exhibition space, which differ in lighting and height conditions.
Art exhibition is not limited to the gallery space, it comes out into the multipurpose zone, the main hall and external spaces: the northern entrance plaza, zone along the water and the upper plaza, which is dedicated to the creative activities of not only artists.
LOCAL AND NATURAL ELEMENTS INPUT
Traditional Finnish model of the small common space placed in nature (autiotupa) is interpreted in museum as a symbol of openness and human scale. Distinctive gable roofs were also covering the former buildings situated on the plot – warehouses.
Archetypal, universal form of the small hut, additionally present in the Finnish tradition in a very special way, is used in the project to enhance its public and open sense.
Other motive taken from the traditional architecture is traditional finish fencing, which became an inspiration for the gallery façade. Gallery block spatial structure repeats also traditional model of private / public space gradation interpreted in gallery circumvent.
VARIOUS SPATIAL EXPERIENCES
Both plazas are referring to the natural landscape, far from the rigor and repetitions. In their open, easy to orient space, various sub-zones are implemented.
Their spatial character, built with the basic elements, as light and view, gives the diversity of the users feelings, generates curiosity and the positive experience of the space.
MUSEUM AS CENTRE OF EDUCATION
Friendly museum space, extended by multimedia content, allows the visitors easy learning and exploring the world of art. Exposed location of classroom emphasizes importance of educational aspect.