GUGGENHEIM IN THE CITY
By Elizabeth Patterson
The Guggenheim Helsinki competition, an international competition to design the new Guggenheim museum, just announced its winner: Moreau Kusunoki Architectes and their “Art in the City” design.
Moreau Kusunoki, which is comprised of Nicolas Moreau and his wife Hiroko Kusunoki, was founded in 2011 and is based in Paris. They are already in the process of creating the Paris High Court Plaza and the New Beauvais Theatre in Beauvais. Their latest work, the Contemporary Art Center in Marseille, opened in 2013. The Guggenheim Helsinki signals their first international design as a duo and as the main architects.
Moreau Kusunoki beat out almost 2,000 anonymous submissions and won over the 11 judge panel to come out as the champion, and winner of €100,000 (around $111,000). Their hauntingly beautiful winning design is proposed to be situated by the South Harbour, very close to the center of Helsinki. It features dark, window-paneled buildings with rooftop gardens linking each building, as well as a tower to be illuminated with lights so that visitors can get a view of the harbour. The project is estimated to cost around €130 million, or close to $140 million, and will include 4,000 square meters of space for artwork and exhibitions. Despite qualms from both residents and city board members, the project is expected to move forward to create a visually stunning piece of art for both museum goers and city dwellers alike.