Art Forest is our proposal for a new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, Finland.
We seek to create an alternative to a museum experience that has become all too prescribed and force-fed, subordinated to earphone listening map following, and assembly line herding.
Art Forest is therefore an art treasure hunt set in a Nordic forest in the middle of the city and harbor, a forest which extends from its larger adjacent neighbor.
Visitors are encouraged to wander and chance upon sculptural and installation work in this art forest. As such, the design is composed of a series of intertwined laters: a groundscape of excavated gallery spaces and courtyards a sinuous green roof of outdoor spaces set amidst tree canopies, and a forest of trees weaving through the varying layers. Distributed galleries create variable options for passage, with views of the harbor ubiquitous throughout the upper canopy walk.
Natural light is filtered through this canopy of large 120’-tall native trees, animating and illuminating the gallery spaces below with an ever-changing play of silhouettes. A sensation of being outside replaces that of being hermetically sealed in a white box.
Our design builds off of the original Peggy Guggenheim canal-front residence at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice, extrapolating the original intent of a simple waterfront gallery with a garden terrace set atop. Our design also draws from the ideas and ambitions of earlier unbuilt proposals sympathetic to nature, including the reconstructed nature/hill of Jean Nouvel’s temporary Guggenheim in Tokyo, Hans Hollein’s excavated Guggenheim in Salzburg, and the underwater Amazonian jungle of Jean Nouvel’s Guggenheim Rio in the Atlantic.