Guggenheim Helsinki Winners: “architecture Is Best Conceived In Reserve And Introspection”

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Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, the Paris-based practice that will layout the Guggenheim Helsinki, has deliberately prevented media focus since it was founded in 2011. Dezeen seems to be at the unknown French-Japanese office that has won the greatest architecture competition of the 12 months (+ interview).

Moreau Kusunoki was announced as the winner of the controversial Guggenheim Helsinki design competition yesterday, and the task – a key new outpost for the American arts institution in the middle of the Finnish capital – is set to catapult the company into the worldwide spotlight.

Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland

Founded by husband and wife duo Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki, the ten-strong firm has – until now – prevented the media spotlight and its work has not appeared on any of the major architecture websites.

“[We] deliberately held back from all forms of media interest, in the belief that architecture is best conceived in reserve and introspection, which are favourable to the emergence of poetic visions,” explained the studio in an official biography.

Polytechnic School of Engineering for the University of Savoie, France Polytechnic College of Engineering for the University of Savoie, France

Japan-born Kusunoki studied at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo prior to going on to perform for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban.

Moreau moved to Tokyo after studying at Ecole Nationale d’Architecture de Belleville in Paris, and worked for the two SANAA and Kengo Kuma.

Polytechnic School of Engineering for the University of Savoie, France Polytechnic School of Engineering for the University of Savoie, France

“We consider to pay attention and observe and do things simply and truthfully,” stated the duo in an interview published on the Guggenheim’s weblog.

“Our cultural duality is legible in all of the projects we conceive. Our perform is intended to be timeless, and but to establish a dialogue with the previous and develop backlinks with the potential, while making a feeling of intimacy.”

Beauvais Theatre, France Théâtre de Beauvaisis, France

They moved to Paris in 2008, when Moreau was charged with co-founding Kuma’s European office. He was lead architect on the Japanese architect’s FRAC modern artwork centre in Marseille, which finished in 2013, overlapping with the launch of the duo’s personal firm in 2011.


Connected story: Controversial Helsinki Guggenheim competitors attracts record quantity of entrants


“The company would not have existed without having Japan,” they explained. “Passing by means of the studios of folks they considered masters, they realized a amount of lessons: the artwork of construction from Ban, programmatic and spatial investigation from SANAA, a sensibility for supplies from Kuma.”

Beauvais Theatre, France Théâtre de Beauvaisis, France

Moreau Kusunoki Architectes could not have a substantial roster of finished tasks but, but its ongoing schemes are all of a substantial scale for a young practice.

Beauvais Theatre, France Théâtre de Beauvaisis, France

Its competition-winning layout for the Polytechnic College of Engineering for the University of Savoie in Bourget-du-Lac, consisting of a series of interconnected white cuboids, is due to open subsequent 12 months.

Beauvais Theatre, France Théâtre de Beauvaisis, France

The Property of Cultures and Memories – a museum in the centre of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana – is due to complete in 2017, as is a new 9,000-square-metre plaza for the Renzo Piano-made Paris District Court. Each commissions had been won through competitions in 2013.

Their initial win from 2012 – the Théâtre de Beauvaisis, in Beauvais, with a staggered layout consisting of a series of rectangular blocks with perforated facades – was cancelled final yr.

House of Culture and Memories of French Guiana, French Guiana House of Culture and Memories of French Guiana, French Guiana

“Our function on the new Théâtre de Beauvaisis and the University of Savoie engineering college shares some related approaches with our style for Guggenheim Helsinki,” explained the pair in the Guggenheim interview.

“These tasks had been conceived as a composition of numerous pavilions with ‘in‐between’ spaces where individuals are invited to stroll in and out, generating interstices of circulation among the interior and exterior.”

House of Culture and Memories of French Guiana, French Guiana Home of Culture and Recollections of French Guiana, French Guiana

The Guggenheim Helsinki competitors, regarded as one particular of the most critical of recent years, was organised by the Solomon R Guggenheim Basis, which also organised the seminal competitors for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, won by Frank Gehry in 1991.


Associated story: Guggenheim Helsinki: “We have acquired fairly a lot to chew on”


The very first round of the Helsinki competition attracted 1,715 entries – a lot more than any competition of its sort according to the organisers – and the 6-sturdy shortlist integrated London-based Asif Khan, Zurich firm AGPS Architecture and Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 from Stuttgart.

House of Culture and Memories of French Guiana, French Guiana Home of Culture and Memories of French Guiana, French Guiana

Moreau Kusunoki said the venture provided an opportunity to carry the firm’s ideas “to a new level”.

Paris High Court Plaza, France Paris High Court Plaza, France

Their winning scheme proposes a series of linked pavilions, with a “lookout” tower containing a restaurant, and a pedestrian bridge to connect the museum to the city. The tower is a reference to the rotunda of the Guggenheim developing in New York, created by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Paris High Court Plaza, France Paris Large Court Plaza, France

Apart from a strip of glazing about the leading of the tower, the structures will be clad in charred timber – a reference to the two conventional timber remedies in the two Finland and Japan.

Paris High Court Plaza, France Paris Higher Court Plaza, France

“Study into components and the revival of standard know-how is central: a opportunity to release architecture from the bonds imposed by regimentation and business, an act that is both aesthetic and militant,” mentioned the firm.

Paris High Court Plaza, France Paris High Court Plaza, France

The project is reported to have a price range of in excess of \$130 million (£82.5 million), and would involve the city paying out the Guggenheim a licensing charge of a further \$thirty million (£19 million). Critics have described it as a “vanity venture”, with some objecting to the notion of a significant American cultural brand occupying a prime internet site in Helsinki.

Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland

Finland has had a change of government because the competitors was launched. It has not yet been confirmed if the funding and help essential for the venture to go ahead will be granted.

Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland

But Juulia Kauste, director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, advised Dezeen that Moreau Kusunoki’s design had the prospective to be “a welcome addition” to the city’s previously active cultural scene.

“It guarantees to produce an interesting dynamic amongst a versatile street room and the galleries making it possible for the art the have a strong presence at all instances,” explained Kauste. “The scale of the developing is in a way intimate, however the unusual form offers it presence in the city.”

Dezeen

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