A City by the Sea

DesignerCannon Design - St. Louis Design Principal: George Nikolajevich, FAIA Design Development/Graphics: Jason Butz Design Support: Jake Haggmark, Allison Mendez Systems/Structural Consulting: Roufei Sun, Gerald Williams Critique: Kent Turner, Lynn Grossman
Prize1st Place in Architecture Categories / Conceptual
Entry Description

This proposal for a new contemporary art museum is poised along Helsinki’s port. It opens itself up to the city and to the sea, connecting park and water with a sinuous gesture to house a variety of art collections. The parti organizes itself around a linear atrium space; galleries for larger pieces situated southeast toward the water's edge and galleries for smaller works northwest toward the park. Two tree-like structures house all non-gallery functions including staff offices, a restaurant, auditorium and viewing platform. These ‘trees’ support the roof truss membrane that slices through the skyline. An elevated walkway intersects the building, allowing the public access to a series of framed glimpses into the gallery spaces while moving between park and water. This linear move allows for future expansion of a pedestrian-centered walkway along the water's edge. The primary structure of the building consists of cantilevered laminated wood with an integrated mechanical heating and cooling system that draws energy from the extreme temperature differentials in the seabed. The copper roof patina allows the building to integrate with the landscape over time. A self-tinting curtain wall system allows for breathtaking views from inside while preserving the longevity of the art collection.