Winning the Dream Ticket
It’s been all over the news that diminutive Parisian practice, Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, has just been announced winner of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition. Its design, entitled ‘Art in the City’, triumphed over 1,714 other submissions in what has turned out to be the largest architectural design competition ever.
WAN’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael Hammond spoke to winners, Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusonoki, and Ari Wiseman, Deputy Director of the Guggenheim Foundation.
The interview touches on the contrast between former Guggenheim icons such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry and a small practice that’s only five years old.
Commenting on this, Ari admits: “It is quite a deviation from the way that the Guggenheim has approached architectural projects in the past.” He also adds: “We’re really delighted that we’ve been able to select such a bright, creative and young firm.”
Nicolas and Hiroko speak about the emotional roller coaster they’ve been on – the sleepless nights before the final announcement, their sense of amazement at having even been shortlisted in a competition they felt so unlikely to win that they had ‘forgotten’ about it – and now their huge sense of relief and delight.
They also describe how, after being shortlisted, they ‘dramatically changed’ their original design following a report from the jury, in order to help win over a Helsinki public that was largely anti the idea of a new museum (around 75% of people opposed it). Nicolas explains how all that is now changing and the next steps towards realising the project.
And to finish, Michael poses this question: “We often hear the best projects need a good client. So, Nicolas and Hiroko, can I ask you if you think Ari will measure up to this?
To hear the answer, you’ll have to listen to the podcast…