Let’s forget the lively discussion on whether Helsinki should welcome a new museum of modern art. Let’s just focus on why the Guggenheim foundation is interested in picking Helsinki in the first place. After all, if Guggenheim is interested, should you be, too? Right?
Amcham Finland is in the business of promoting foreign direct investment. We are also imagining and building the “New North.” At the center of a rapidly developing market, we naturally have a keen ear for anyone who would like to take part in writing the new narrative. The Guggenheim Foundation has presented its candidacy!
“We want to develop a museum of the future. In many ways, a Guggenheim Helsinki could serve as an innovation benchmark for our other affiliates. Being on the cutting edge would, of course, benefit both Helsinki and the Guggenheim network,” foundation chairman Richard Armstrong says. The Guggenheim Foundation is only exploring places that are “emerging” or reinventing themselves.
“The main thing, however, was the level of ambition. Helsinki doesn’t want something good. It wants something extraordinary.”
“When a place is growing, physically or by stature, it is interesting to be an essential part of the rise. Guggenheim is not a network, it is a constellation,” Armstrong continues.
Armstrong explains how mayors from across the world are his regular lunch company. They come – and then want the same old, same old. “The Bilbao effect.” Helsinki stood out from the get-go.
The main thing, however, was the level of ambition.
Helsinki doesn’t want something good.
It wants something extraordinary.
“Helsinki is a beautiful and developed city with pure nature. It has strong institutions, educated people and it’s close to Russia with great connections to all directions,” Armstrong lists. “The main thing, however, was the level of ambition. Helsinki doesn’t want something good. It wants something extraordinary.”
Opening a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki would mean creating a concept from scratch. The Guggenheim Foundation envisions that to be a progressive, multidisciplinary approach taking the visual culture to new audiences. “Novel forms of presentation could be especially useful in exhibiting architecture and design, which would benefit from interactive displays and future visual technologies that amalgamate aesthetic merit with simulations of real-world utility.
Finland is already a center of innovation in interactive technology, so this approach would be a natural fit for the Finnish audience,” Armstrong explains. The Guggenheim Foundation estimates that the new museum could attract over 500,000 visitors a year. Many of them would come from the neighboring countries and Asia.
The next step for the Guggenheim Foundation would be to organize an architecture competition for the new museum. It would be located at the seafront in downtown Helsinki. If things work out according to the plan, Guggenheim Helsinki would open in December 2017 as Finland marks its 100 years of independence. Guggenheim Foundation anticipates that 550,000 individuals would visit the new museum annually and expects to bring 41 million euros in annual economic impact.
+358 45 857 8178