The Guggenheim wants to build a 140 million euro ($178 million) museum on the Helsinki waterfront, as it expands its satellite of contemporary art galleries to new locations such as Bilbao in Spain and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The financial estimate includes the construction and design of the museum. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which oversees the original, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum in New York as well as four overseas sites, proposed that it and the Finnish capital jointly develop a new museum.
The Guggenheim chose Helsinki due to strong local interest and tradition in art and design, as well as the city’s plans to develop its harbor properties, it said in a report Tuesday after a year-long feasibility study.
It also noted the city lacked a significant modern art collection, a gap it said the museum could fill and help draw tourists.
“Helsinki’s cultural landscape is rich, but it is also fragmented ... Helsinki’s art scene lacks a center of gravity,” the report said, recommending the city move forward with an architectural competition.
It proposed a museum be built on a city-owned site in Helsinki’s south harbor, next to the headquarters of Finnish forest company Stora Enso.
The city is due to decide in the next few weeks whether to go ahead with the project.