Firm triumphs out of six-strong shortlist

French practice Moreau Kusunoki Architectes has landed the prize to design Helsinki’s new £100m Guggenheim museum.

The project attracted more than 1,700 entries from 77 countries for the scheme which was organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.

Called Art in the City, the winning design features nine ‘low-lying’ pavilions and a lighthouse-like tower clad in charred timber.

The scheme in Finland’s capital is the biggest job the Parisian practice has won by far, given that it was only founded four years ago by former Shigeru Ban architect Hiroko Kusunoki and ex-Kengo Kuma staffer Nicolas Moreau who opened up that practice’s outpost in France back in 2008.

Jury chair Mark Wigley, professor of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University, said of the winner’s plan: “The waterfront, park, and nearby urban area all have a dialogue with the loose cluster of pavilions, with people and activities flowing between them. The design is imbued with a sense of community and animation that matches the ambitions of the brief to honour both the people of Finland and the creation of a more responsive museum of the future.”

Moreau Kusunoki has picked up a €100,000 first prize while the five runners-up – including the UK’s Asif Khan – take home €50,000 each.

The Guggenheim in New York will hold an event at the beginning of next month at which Kusunoki and Moreau will give more detail on their winning design.

Following the announcement, the Guggenheim has also put names to the shortlisted designs (see image gallery). All entries were previously displayed anonymously.


Shortlist in full

  • AGPS Architecture (Zurich, Switzerland and Los Angeles, US)
  • Asif Khan (London, UK)
  • Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (New York, US; Barcelona, Spain; and Sydney, Australia)
  • Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Moreau Kusunoki Architect (Paris, France)
  • SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Spain and Australia)