What are the problems facing Helsinki today and how might architecture address these concerns?

Location
Helsinki, Finland

Status
Competition

Typology
Masterplan

Year
2015

In 2014, the Guggenheim Foundation launched a competition to seek ideas for the design of a Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki. It was hoped that the building of a Guggenheim in Helsinki would raise the city’s profile on the international stage, increasing its appeal to tourists around the world. Is this the best use of a prime site on the water’s edge? What are the problems facing Helsinki today and how might the site be better used to address these concerns?

In 2050, the city of Helsinki will be connected with its urbanized suburbs via an efficient transportation system Suburban centres have developed into urban centres to cope with the increase in population.

Located in central Helsinki, the chosen site at South Harbour is where the city meets the water. However, there is little interaction between the city, its people and the water. While the area is lively during the day, it loses its energy at night when the street market closes.

Our proposal for a skyscraper can densify the city of Helsinki, while freeing up space for other functions the city desperately needs. By providing housing on the waterfront of South Harbour, it ensures the area is populated throughout the day, making a more vibrant street life. Set amidst the distinctive skyline of the Helsinki and Uspenski Cathedral, the tower creates a new visual landmark that is instantly recognizable as belonging to Helsinki.

Given issues of population growth facing the Nordic urban environment but the tendency towards urban living, the densification of the city centre is an idea worth considering.