The Guggenheim Museum – Helsinki

project / competiton

Client :The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, City of Helsinki

Surface : 12.016 m²

Budget : 140 M€

Type : cultural

Status : competition / idea

Year : 2015

Taking its inspiration from the maple seed for its aerodynamic shape, the building is conceived to exlpoit one of the most important resources of the bay of Helsinki: the winds. Its loop-like geometry creates a plastic network of pedestrian and cycle paths reconnecting the quay with the city. The double cavea-like roof bends down at the sides to let views of the harbour from the park , providing green areas and public spaces events.The design of the building takes account of its position with respect of the wind’ direction and intensitynd. Moreover the interior spaces have been conceived as an infinite loop allowing a continuous experience.

In order to take advantage of one of the most important natural resources of the Helsinki bay – the wind – the façades take their inspiration from birds feathers. In a schematic way the feather of a bird is composed by a rachis and a series of barbs.Each barb is provided with a number of barbules and the system forms a wind and waterproof barrier that allows birds to fly and stay dry.In a similar way the facades are composed by a series of thin metal blades that are spatially arranged so to augment de aerodynamic resistance of the whole. So the façades are composed by several rows of aluminum panels with their supporting frames and in front of the panels a series of “barb like elements are arrayed along the frames. Each “barb” is composed by two parts: the metal thin blade provided with a piezo-electric element in the core and LED blade and under the wind action the metal blade bends producing an electrical charge while the LED ligths up after the impulse. So while during the day this energy can be stocked at night the building glows and gently pulse showing the effects of the gathering.