Design competition begins for new Architecture and Design Museum in Helsinki

A new national Architecture and Design Museum is being planned for Helsinki's South Harbour. The open competition for the museum’s design has now begun.
The new Architecture and Design Museum is being planned for Helsinki's South Harbour.  Photo: Sami Saastamoinen
The new Architecture and Design Museum is being planned for Helsinki's South Harbour. Photo: Sami Saastamoinen

The design competition for a new Finnish museum devoted to architecture and design has begun. The goal of the competition is to find a viable plan for a museum building of approximately 10,000 square meters that will be located in  the renewed Makasiiniranta waterfront area of Helsinki's South Harbour. The finished museum is expected to create a solid foundation for top-level global museum operations and be part of a new and lively shoreline nexus in downtown Helsinki.

Designers taking part in the competition are being asked to pay special attention to enhancing the Helsinki cityscape and minimizing the building's carbon footprint. The museum will be built in a part of Helsinki that is considered a national maritime landscape and valuable cultural environment.

The open international design competition will consist of two phases. Stage one started on April 15 and will end in August 2024, when 3–5 entries will be selected by the competition jury for further development. The final results will be published in September 2025. The new museum building is expected to open in 2030.

Museum to strengthen Helsinki's position in design and architecture

The new museum will not only promote Finnish design and architecture but also offer versatile exhibitions and cultural experiences. In addition to the main exhibition, which will tell the compelling story of Finnish design and architecture, the museum will be equipped to host large visiting exhibitions from abroad as well as sizable multi-sensory installations. The buildings of the museum will also feature space for various events and workshops, a library specializing in architecture and design, a café-restaurant, a seaside terrace and a museum shop.

The design competition is looking for innovative proposals that are examples of sustainable construction and fit into Helsinki's cityscape harmoniously. The goal is for the museum to strengthen Helsinki's position as an international focal point of design and architecture.

“Architecture, design and industrial design have a special national and international heritage in Finland. These are also things that Finland and Helsinki are known for in the world, so they deserve their own contemporary combined museum. The museum site is part of our iconic Helsinki skyline, so we can demand  a high competition standard,” says Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki and a member of the design competition jury.

The competition jury consists of both Finnish and international experts in the field. The chair is Mikko Aho, an architect who has previously served as Executive Director of the City of Helsinki’s Urban Environment Division.

Information about participating in the competition and a more specific timeframe can be found on the competition website.

The design competition is organized by Real Estate Company ADM, together with the Foundation for the Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design, the Finnish Architects' Association SAFA and the City of Helsinki.