This rejected design for a futuristic new Guggenheim museum would have been incredible

Guggenheim 2Myefski Architects, Inc.A design for the proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland by Myefski Architects, Inc.

Over the weekend, the Association of Licensed Architects announced the winners of its prestigious design competition. A variety of buildings types — from homes to sportsplexes to museums — won gold and silver awards.

One such gold winner was Myefski Architects’ design for a satellite Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki. Featuring a grassy rooftop that slopes to the footpath, the design would incorporate both the interior and waterfront exterior as part of the museum.

In 2015, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation launched an international competition to design a new location in the Finnish capital, and over 1,700 architects anonymously submitted.

Guggenheim 3Myefski Architects, Inc.A design for the proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland by Myefski Architects, Inc.

The Guggenheim selected six finalists — though Myefski Architects’ design wasn’t one of them — with the grand winner being the
Paris-based architecture firm Moreau Kusunoki. Its dark timber-and-glass design distinguishes itself from the original, pristine white Guggenheim New York City, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

There are no concrete plans to build a Guggenheim in the Finnish capital.

In September, Finland’s government vetoed funding for the museum, which was expected to cost $147 million. Guggenheim’s proposal to build a museum in Helsinki had drawn controversy as well.

As Quartz notes, when Helsinki’s city planners welcomed the Guggenheim museum, they were also hoping that Guggenheim’s name would bring more tourist money to the capital. Exactly that happened when a Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim came to Bilbao, Spain — the museum’s unusual metal facade was credited for bringing more visitors to the Spanish city.

Opponents to the proposed museum in Helsinki have labelled it “ArtDonald’s,” saying the museum would prioritise western art over work from local artists, according to The Guardian.

The Guggenheim has three international locations, with another one set to open in Abu Dhabi in 2017. If the Finnish museum is ever built, it will undoubtedly draw many visitors, just like the other starchitect-designed Guggenheims.

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