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Displaying items by tag: guggenheim helsinki

The Guggenheim has become something of a brand over the years, with satellite locations in Venice and Bilbao, Spain, and one planned in Abu Dhabi. Now this museum’s proposed branch in Helsinki, Finland, has taken a step closer to reality, with the selection of a design that features charred timber and glass punctuated by a lighthouselike tower overlooking South Harbor.

It is still uncertain whether the design, by the relatively young husband-and-wife firm Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, founded four years ago in Paris, will be accepted by its surrounding city, which has been bitterly divided over the project, largely because of concerns over its price of about $147 million.

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A survey has found that support for the Guggenheim’s Helsinki project is weak among city councilmembers in the Finnish capital, raising questions about the financial future of the museum’s latest global outpost. The January 16 questionnaire, published by the Yle newspaper, found that 39 of 68 city councilmembers polled either do not support the Guggenheim Helsinki at all or object to the provision of public funds to the Guggenheim. These findings follow contentious public discussions of the funding for the Helsinki franchise in Finland, most recently in June 2014, when Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong walked out of an interview after being asked pointed questions about the project’s budget.

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The six Guggenheim Helsinki finalists shortlisted early last month will begin Stage Two of the highly debated competition with a visit to the museum site in Helsinki from January 14-16 as they start further development on their current proposals for final submission this April.

The names of the finalists have been revealed, but will not be matched to their proposals until the winner is announced in June 2015. The winning team will receive a prize of €100,000 (approx. US$136,000), while each runner-up will receive €55,000 (approx. US$75,000).

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The Guggenheim has announced the finalists in the competition to design Guggenheim Helsinki, whittling down the entrants from a record-breaking 1,715 submissions to just six. Representing both emerging and established practices with offices in seven countries, the shortlisted entries show a variety of responses to the challenge of creating a world-class museum.

“The final shortlist encompasses a number of different scenarios: from schemes which are more experimental in engaging with the program and whose outward form will only emerge in the second phase, to ones that might seem more resolved from the outside but whose programmatic concept will only evolve fully in the second phase,” notes the jury’s official statement.

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It has been billed as one of the biggest architectural competitions of all time, an international contest open to practices both tiny and titanic, for a vast cultural complex for a world-famous institution, with a multi-million pound budget on a spectacular waterside site. It could mint the next Frank Lloyd Wright or Frank Gehry, and change the city’s skyline forever. But the race for who will design the Guggenheim Helsinki museum has spawned an unexpected side effect.

As the deadline for entries drew to a close this week, a counter-competition was launched as a riposte to what critics have branded a misguided vanity project, and a symbol of the Finnish capital selling out to an American brand.

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