All images courtesy of Paolo Venturella
The Guggenheim Helsinki Museum is a "multi-functional" project that presents the Museum and other related services such as a multi-purpose space, a conference area, a retail plus a restaurant and a bar and lounge areas , and is positioned close to the historic center of the city in the harbour area just along the sea coast.
The location on the site is made in order to allow the view on the sea from Etelainen Makasiinukatu as requested and to have the main access from north where the main pedestrian flow comes from.
The project takes into consideration the different functions of the program, dividing them in two main groups: the exhibition (with glass facing upwards for indirect lighting) and the connected services.
The main idea of the project starts from taking into consideration the ideal exhibition space for a museum: a continuous path that creates a direction for the visit, similar to the New York Wright's museum where the ramp leads the people inside. In this way the visitor is invited to enjoy the galleries through a series of contiguous spaces. These spaces, thanks to special panels that rotate and fold, are easy to divide and to combine. All along the the gallery spaces are designed accessible walls so to place artworks installed on the walls.
In order to create a point in common to mix functions the continuous path is pushed at the center so that in a unique moment the activities converge creating the "Multi-purpose" space.
The activities that requires sun and views to exterior are placed to the side of the sea while the activities that need a more controlled light and darker spaces, like the exhibition and the offices, turns to the north and west side where sun light is mostly indirect.
The volume is lifted up creating a cantilevered space for the main entrance. In this way the two courtyards become accessible. The first is open to the city and creates a covered exterior space for the public realm, while the second is closed on the port terminal side and hosts the conference area.
To connect the volume with the "glass on top" to the volume with the "glass on the side", a simple move twists the shape creating two continuous surfaces: one is opaque and the other is glass.
The passage between the direct to indirect light flows gradually to avoid the dazzling contrast fro one to the other. there is not a passage from a complete direct light to a darker space to avoid annoying blinding effects for the visitors.
All the exterior skin of the building is conceived for sustainability using renewable energies. The opaque surface is covered with "micro-eolic" blades that rotates on a single axis and the glass surface is cover with a system of louvers that varies the angle to be mostly directed to sun rays that at the Helsinki latitude has to be almost vertical.
Architect: Paolo Venturella
Team Design: Cosimo Scotucci, Flavia Restaldi