21.02.2014

Guggenheim Museum and Foundation wants a new Guggenheim museum in Helsinki

In this “green city”, Richard Armstrong, the Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation sees something for all ages, but believes that especially the younger audiences will come to treasure Helsinki more and more in the years to come.

A couple of years ago, bringing Guggenheim to Helsinki had the full support of the City’s top politicians, but the venture faced a rather sceptical public.

Armstrong goes as far as to say that the wave of public opinion and the rise of activism that sank the first attempt is, in fact, one of the things Guggenheim finds so appealing about Finland.

Nation where dialogue is encouraged

The second offer was made in September. Armstrong goes as far as to say that the wave of public opinion and the rise of activism that sank the first attempt is, in fact, one of the things Guggenheim finds so appealing about Finland. This is a nation where dialogue is encouraged and expected and people do have their say.

Guggenheim is now saying that attendance could be as much as 550,000 patrons each year and maintains that with a price tag of EUR 130 million, the museum would be a worthwhile investment for both Helsinki and Finland. According to Guggenheim’s calculations, the museum would bring the state and local municipalities around EUR 8 million in tax gains every year, while the museum would take five million to run on the annual level. Helsinki would also need to fork up a franchise fee of one million euros each year.

Open, international architectural competition

The foundation promises to launch an open, international architectural competition for the museum – and be responsible for gathering the funding to support it.

And while trying its very best to win the Helsinki decision-makers over, Guggenheim threw in a carrot that proved to be impossible to resist: a world-class architectural contest. That carrot was made especially tempting as star achitect Frank Gehry expressed an interest in participating in the contest – even though the maestro has shown an aversion for open contests as such.

Source: Real Estate Annual Finland