More than a building inscribed in its context the GUGGENHEIM museum must be an international icon.
The main guideline thought the design process was the intention of creating a fluent environment where physical boundaries to pedestrians would be minimal or would not exist, an environment which would create connections between the existing topography, rather than separate it.
Due to the fact that in this context, the port of Helsinki, building a monolithic building seems to be in contradiction with the expectations of this new project, it was decided to divide the volumes. The advantage is taken of this decomposed volume, which is able to create an urban and social reasoning.
The initial idea was to start a process similar to a tectonic movement that began with an elementary form, a rectangle, a form which provides an obvious harmony of geometries.
This concept of fragmentation generates urbanity which becomes important part of the existing urban tissue. In fact, the design is based on a two-faced building: an interior and an exterior museum life. The construction of the building is produced by creating voids. These voids are used as intern places protected by facades. Accordingly, those interstices provide pedestrian fluidity inside the site and views to the surrounding, principally to the park and the sea. All the buildings are conceived on the base of four facades which are oriented to dialogue with the city, as there is not a back side to the museum.
In term of working, the main circulation was assumed to be in the basement. It is this concept which allows the links with all the buildings without splitting the public spaces. Creating the basement allows a constant temperature, naturally provided by the earth. Obviously the basement is assumed to be a double waterproof structure. The voids that lead the natural light into the basement strongly accentuate the presence of an underground and ink the building into the site. In fact, they let the visitor perceive the depth of the museum and an idea of interiority.
In what concern the interior spaces, the main idea was the fluidity between the functional spaces. The goal of the basement is to provide a notion of journey, generated by flexibility, which produced many appropriable interstices and leads the visitors to discover different forms of museum facilities.
Interiors of every building are generated on the same frame, the peripheral spaces are assumed to be used as the circulations, surrounding the museum facilities.
The tree different types of facades were designed to support the concept of the project. A double frosted glass skin allows the natural light to get inside the museum, forming a gradient between the light and the shadow. Another double skin composed of perforated metal is used to control the views from the surrounding, letting the visitors perceive the Helsinki port, but also providing the museum the needed privacy. The interior spaces are composed of a wooden skin which creates a warm atmosphere in contradiction to the external perforated metal skin.
This building allows the visitors experience the connected art and the city of Helsinki.