Feb 25, 2015

Alternative Winners of the Guggenheim Helsinki Counter-Competition is Terreform ONE

The New Official Alternative Award Winners of the Guggenheim Helsinki architecture and urban design counter-competition is Terreform ONEIt was hyped as a doubly unorthodox and unsolicited affair that was surreptitiously sponsored by Anonymous Finland, Anti-Ellsworth Toohey League, Occupy Helsinki, and the Eco-communalism Society in response to the few discourteous washouts, flops, and has-beens of the official Guggenheim contest.  

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is the foremost institution for the mass collection, conservation, and research of contemporary and modern art and controls several topmost museums around the globe. A striking museum edifice in Helsinki would be a bright compliment to the munificence and elegance of the city.

Helsinki is not some third tier forgotten underdeveloped urban site. It is a significant thriving cultural center with a compact population of educated and enlightened inhabitants. As far as wealth, Helsinki ranks in the top ten most expensive cities in Europe directly behind Oslo, Geneva, and Zurich. Why not have the people of Helsinki benefit a little extra from access to extensive fine art exhibitions and cultural event spaces? Can the Guggenheim go elsewhere? Sure. Does an art museum offend the basic integrity of Finnish society by locating an outpost inside their nation...absolutely NOT! Save Helsinki from art? That's ridiculous, like trying to "save" Brooklyn from Peter Lugers.

Congratulations to the official winners and finalists. And kudos to the multitudes that did not get selected and accepted it gracefully. Design competitions are an integral part of the profession. While subjective and not perfect, the many benefits still outweigh the constraints. Gallivanting around on a high horse demanding Helsinki reconsider the surrounding city and not the Guggenheim is a frivolous endeavor. It’s pugnacious when outsider claims are made that the good people of Helsinki (Finnish architects/ planners included) don’t prudently consider the remainder of their city and its logic of growth.   
Please see the disclaimer about Michael Sorkin HERE.