CONSTRUCTING A NEW GROUND: AN ART INFRASTRUCTURE
Museum as Cultural Laboratory / Civic Generator
Our proposal for the Finnish Guggenheim creates a unique urban interface and civic cultural space for the city of Helsinki. The project is conceived as in integrated urban architecture and landscape that reconnects the public to the sea. Serving as a symbolic gateway the project negotiates the given site constraints and creates new networks and connectivity that reestablishes this important urban space with the historic city center, market and park. Acting as a civic generator the proposal engages an active dialogue with the local community and the many visitors arriving by sea through the construction of a fully connective spatial tissue of urban public spaces that will foster and bring together varied audiences and potential for activity. Seen as a unique opportunity to create a needed collective space our proposal explores a new model of landscape urbanism that fuses the relationships that typically separates urban parks, infrastructure and cultural development through the creation of an urban ground that weaves like a tapestry new spatial relationships and framing mechanisms to see the city anew.
Bringing Art to the Public and the Public to Art
A main feature of our proposal seeks to bring art to the public and the public to art. A new form of public space is put forward that affords the city a symbolic and multi-functional urban ground that integrates itself within the urban environment. Creating a sense of place with unobstructed views that could host outdoor cultural, leisure, and social activities that stimulate urban regeneration and has the capacity to create a vibrant and collective cultural city center. Our new ground constructs a public podium and space as interface that can transform the building through art by creating a covered area (9m tall) for large-scale installation, sculpture, architectural pavilions and new media art that reinvents the building for the public. This new ground covered space creates an additional 6,000 square meters of event space that allows for flexible planning and can take into account seasonal constraints and influx of summer tourism and allow the building to communicate in ways that enables new relations between architecture and art to the public.
Learning from Aalto and Maritime Ship Building / Leed Gold
A main element in our design is embracing a rich legacy of architectural and maritime development within Helsinki. Taking reference in our material selection of local materials, strategies of landscape integration and constructing spatial experience through light as found in the works of Aalto the project take the opportunity to fuse digital innovation and fabrication with local craft. Elements of Aalto’s and finish architects influence in the project can be seen in our constructing conical primitives and use of natural lighting systems to illuminate our building. Most direct is the skylight diffusers in our main gallery and atrium areas that evolve Aalto’s research that began in his seminal Vyborg Library in 1927 and continued in buildings in Helsinki such as the Rautatalo Office Building (1955) and the National Pensions Institute (1956). Through illumination, our proposal creates a unique approach towards organization that creates a rich environment to explore art and work. Maritime Ship building techniques and production are used to develop our proposal learning from the local industry giving our building a unique character in spatial organization and material qualities. The design of our proposal utilizes sustainable building concepts and is designed and organized to meet Leed Gold Standards.