New Guggenheim Museum
Finland – Helsinki
Pietro Valle Capogruppo, Mentil Fderico , Marco Cellini, Giulia Pecol
The new Guggenheim in Helsinki is a landmark building formed by a thin vertical slab containing the exhibition galleries that rises from a single level platform that hosts all the service areas.
The slab is aligned in plan with the city grid and Eteleranta: its thin profile acts as a visual director from the city to the water and vice-versa. The platform is aligned in plan with the Etelasatama waterfront and Laivasillanktu: a green plaza with garden is located on its roof and is connected to Tahititornin Vuori Park through an elevated pedestrian bridge. The complex skyline shows the platform clad in wood and topped by greenery that functions like a pier defining the water edge: at the northern side of it rises the vertical slab, all clad in glass and acting as a scope to the cityscape thanks to its transparency, reflections and the presence of interior double-height spaces that allow panoramic views. The main public entry is on the north side from an elevated plaza. Here, the vertical slab is carved by a covered portico. On the south side of the platform are the service loading areas. The platform is set back from both the west and east sides to allow the functioning of the port and Laivasillanktu.
The ground floor platform contains on the north side the entry, vertical circulation and multipurpose event hall. Along the water edge there are the retail area and cafe facing the South Harbor. On the city west side there are the administration, collection storage and maintenance areas. The platform spaces are lit by interior green patios: one of them connects the ground floor with the roof plaza and garden. The platform edge is screened by a fence of vertical wood posts that filter both glazed and opaque areas.
The vertical circulation is formed by a group of elevators and two intersecting stairs located in a fireproof glass case: they act as the main pedestrian circulation as well as emergency exits.
The vertical slabs hosts eight levels of exhibition galleries. These allow ten enclosed single floor exhibition areas with wooden partitions and three double height glazed spaces with open views to the city. At the top floor is the formal restaurant with panorama.
The typical floor is mt.5,44 high and is edged by a structural frame of steel pillars that hold two facades set one meter apart. The exterior one is glazed, the interior is an exhibition partition of laminated birch with interposed insulation topped by a clerestory window allowing controlled natural light in the interior. The glass envelope allows views alternatively on horizontal “birch stacks” and transparent floors.
The slab double envelope creates a stack cooling effect. On the slab roof there are photovoltaic panels that work together with geothermal pipes to generate heating. The green roof provides thermal insulation.