Tuesday April 13, 2021

Helsinki South Harbour chosen as spot for new architecture museum

Published : 24 Mar 2021, 22:23

Updated : 24 Mar 2021, 22:27

  DF Report

The new museum of architecture and design is planned to be constructed in the South Harbour of Helsinki as part of the overall development of the district. Photo: City of Helsinki by Ilmakuvaus Ruohonen.

Finland’s plan to build a new museum for architecture and design has taken an important step on Wednesday as the Ministry of Education and Culture, along with the City of Helsinki, has established a new project organisation to coordinate the planning of the new museum, said a the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release.

Kaarina Gould – former programmme director of Helsinki’s World Design Capital year in 2012 and current Executive Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, has been appointed to lead the project.

A high-level steering group has been formed to supervise the project, with Finland’s State Treasury Director General Timo Laitinen as the chair. Other members include representatives of the City of Helsinki, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Finance, directors and chairpersons of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, and a number of experts from fields of design, finance, and urban development.

The new museum will merge two existing museums, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, and function as the national museum in these fields. Once established, the museum of architecture and design will be housed in a new building, constructed in the South Harbour of Helsinki as part of the overall development of the district. An architecture competition for the museum is planned for a later stage of the project.

The decision to move ahead with the new museum is based on in-depth surveys and an initial concept plan drawn up in 2018–2019 by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the City of Helsinki, and the two museums. During the preliminary planning phase, a management and funding model for the museum was also formed.

In 2021, a foundation will be established for the new architecture and design museum to manage the present museums’ collections. Museum operations will be coordinated by a limited liability company, to be established later, which will be fully owned by the foundation.

The State of Finland and the City of Helsinki are expected to provide equal shares of capital to the museum foundation. In its fourth supplementary budget proposal for 2020, the government undertook the task to finance the new museum foundation with a maximum of EUR 60 million.

The next stage is to produce a comprehensive plan that will allow the funders to make final decisions on the implementation of the project. This phase of the project, led by the newly appointed Project Director Kaarina Gould, will launch on 1 May and is expected to last until late 2023.