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Planning for The Next Helsinki

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Name: Michael Sorkin
Email: [email protected]
Competition Name: THE NEXT HELSINKI INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED GUGGENHEIM HELSINKI
Competition Link: http://www.nexthelsinki.org
Registration deadline: 02/03/2015
Submission deadline: 02/03/2015
Competition Description: “The city is the greatest collective work of art ever conceived, and Helsinki is one of the most exquisite,” observed Michael Sorkin, architect and chair of the international jury for the Next Helsinki. In contrast to the “anachronistic vessel of the traditional museum building,” he added, “the goal of the competition is to attract projects that attach artistry to all aspects of everyday urbanism.”

Coinciding with the end of the official competition for the design of the controversial Guggenheim Helsinki, a group of independent arts organizations has issued a call for submissions for alternative ideas. This competition—titled The Next Helsinki—is designed to attract innovative ideas about how to more fully meet the city’s cultural, spatial, and sustainability needs.

Following the success of the Guggenheim Bilbao in transforming that region’s tourist economy, many city managers have been seduced by the fantasy that a high-concept museum, designed by a starchitect, will turn around its urban fortunes in a similar way. Advocates of this branding formula see Helsinki as an ideal candidate for a new Guggenheim franchise. Yet the proposal has
generated a surprisingly heated public debate among Finland’s citizenry, with pro and anti- Guggenheim sentiment running high.

The Next Helsinki competition aims to elevate the debate by giving voice to bold and thoughtful alternatives. It calls upon architects, urbanists, artists, environmentalists, students, activists, poets, politicians, and all others who love cities to imagine how Helsinki and the South Harbor site allotted to the proposed museum can be transformed for the maximum benefit of the city’s residents and visitors.

More information about the competition can be found at www.nexthelsinki.org.

Deadline for submissions is March 2nd, 2015 at noon Helsinki time (GMT+2). Results will be published in the Spring of 2015.

The Next Helsinki is co-organized by Checkpoint Helsinki (www.checkpointhelsinki.org), Terreform (http://www.terreform.info), and Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.), (http://gulflabor.org and http://occupymuseums.org).

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