design + architecture
HELSINKI , FINLAND
Voyage of the Frozen Relic: Nordic Wood
In the Nordic climate under the right conditions, wood becomes covered in ice and becomes preserved. In this state, the organic matter of the wood does not decay and while anchored under the ice acts as a time capsule holding traces of the past. The ice above continually changes but the relic wood underneath is a constant.
"The relic wood is well-aged, beaten and travelled through various places and has settled in its' burial ground and waiting to be probed."
- Unknown drifter from the Nordic lands.
Our proposal for the Helsinki Guggenheim Museum is inspired by the poetic relationship between the relic wood and the ice above it. In this way, we used the design-metaphor of ‘wood’ and ‘ice’ as architectural organizing principles in the museum to symbolize the country’s cultural landscape; the ‘wood’ symbolizes past memories and historical associations and is juxtaposed with ‘ice’ which represents contemporary culture and influences. Our Guggenheim museum will create a gallery experience where visitors navigate through a 'wooden-belly' structure made of wood where the exhibition spaces will be housed. Above this ‘wooden-belly’ a light, clean, modern white structure of the “ice” sits which contains the areas for exhibiting the contemporary art collections.