The brief set forward the goal of creating an “innovative, multidisciplinary museum of art and design [… which] should be of the highest architectural quality, creating a meaningful presence in Helsinki and offering civic space where both residents and visitors can gather.” Henning Larsen Architects’ design concept ‘Island of Mist’ responds to the brief by offering museum visitors and the citizens of Helsinki a new place of being.
The concept ‘Island of Mist’ consists of a primary building form which floats above a sculptural wooded landscape. The spatial volumes drop down from the horizontal roofline, creating a dynamic public space underneath the floating exhibition rooms. This new public space knits together the city and the museum, drawing people in towards the building’s threshold, and providing Helsinki with an animated space on the harbour edge in which to gather, perform, eat and observe – a new place to be.
The overall aim of the competition was to identify new approaches and redefine the idea of a museum while engaging in the social and physical fabric of the city. The overwhelming number of entries was evaluated by an international jury of prominent architects and stakeholder representatives in late 2014, when six finalists were selected for Stage Two. Henning Larsen Architects’ proposal did not move onto the competition’s second stage.
Stage Two of the competition is currently underway and the final winner of the competition is expected to be announced in June 2015.