Helsinki's South Harbour © Mikko Paananen
The Finnish government will fund the construction of an architecture and design museum in the country’s capital as part of its coronavirus pandemic support package.
The Architecture and Design Museum has received a contribution of 60 million Euros as part of the government’s 1.3 billion Euro supplementary budget to help the country recover from coronavirus.
Set to be built on Helsinki‘s South Harbour the new museum would become the combined home of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum Helsinki.
“It is a significant decision when the state is so strongly committed to the realization of the new Architecture and Design Museum,” said Reetta Heiskanen, director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, and Jukka Savolainen, director of the Design Museum Helsinki.
“In the museums, we are now focusing our efforts on playing our part in rebuilding Finland in the midst of the crisis that affects everyone. We will do our outmost to make the museum a place for everyone.”
Momentum is now
The directors of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum Helsinki hope that the Architecture and Design Museum will build on the momentum of several high-profile cultural projects that have completed in the city in recent years.
“The momentum is now, Finland has recently had a museum boom and also Helsinki’s new central library Oodi has been well received,” Heiskanen and Savolainen told Dezeen.
“Now it’s time to establish a new museum of architecture and design. Finland has all that it takes to bring attention to Nordic well-being and design.”
Although the world is experiencing a global pandemic, Heiskanen and Savolainen believe that this is the right time to establish this new cultural institution.
“Core of the new museum is to make design thinking accessible to everyone,” they said.
“Global problems in today’s society require new types of solutions. We strongly believe that the new museum can empower everyone to take an active part in the new solutions of the future.”
New museum planned to open in 2025
At present the pair of museums are located in two 19th century buildings that stand alongside each other in the Kaartinkaupunki area of the city.
This is a couple of blocks away from the South Harbour, where the proposed Architecture and Design Museum will be located.
Although a site has not yet been determined for the new building, the area being discussed includes the site of the proposed Helsinki Guggenheim museum, which was abandoned in 2016 after the Finnish government refused funding.
According to representatives from the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum Helsinki the new museum is planned to open in 2025, with the next stage of development a discussion with the national and state governments.
“In the view of the museums, the next step is joint discussions with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the City of Helsinki, and to advance the project further towards the establishment of a project organization, as well as further development of the operating model,” said Heiskanen and Savolainen.
“The goal is for the museum to be open to the public in 2025.”
The news of the museum was welcomed by Samuli Miettinen, founding partner of Helsinki-based JKMM, which recently completed the subterranean Amos Rex museum and has designed a disc-shaped extension to National Museum of Finland, in the city.
“The city’s commitment to commissioning the new Architecture and Design Museum is hugely welcome in what is an uncertain time for many,” Miettinen told Dezeen.
“It speaks of Finland’s commitment to Modern architecture and its ability to harness democratic values. A museum building, in particular, is about a common good for society and about a belief in our shared future. Architecture has a unique role in mirroring this ambition and vision, about showing us what we want from life,” he continued.
“This is the spirit of Helsinki’s new museum project and, as architects, we think an institution that will help get this message across is vital, especially today.”