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Helsinki launches competition to develop cultural district, museum

Helsinki has launched an international competition to develop a waterfront cultural and leisure district at Makasiiniranta on the South Harbour.

helsinki makasiiniranta competition

The competition involves developing the Makasiiniranta area of Helsinki’s South Harbour, which will include the Architecture and Design Museum.

“This competition is being held to give Helsinki’s prime spot and face towards the sea a worthy use and appearance,” said mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori.

“As port operations develop, we are finally in a position to build the area the way it deserves to be built. The challenge is enormous, and here at the city we are serious and ambitious about it.

“We have identified the area’s significance and characteristics, which set the preconditions for seeking the best possible idea for how we will see the heart of Helsinki in the future.”

Architecture and Design Museum

The Makasiiniranta area, which is currently used for the port’s terminal operations and parking, will become a public coastal route and urban space, also connecting the Market Square to Kaivopuisto.

The competition’s content and goals will be discussed at the competition seminar on May 27, which will be held online in English. The joining link will be published on the competition website.

All competition entries, which can propose culture, service and business construction, will be made public for viewing and commenting in early 2022. The winner of the competition will be chosen in late 2022.

Competition proposals must include a design and architecture museum complex that will merge the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum Helsinki.

Competition winner will be chosen in late 2022

helsinki port competition museum

Proposals should also include the functionality and feasibility of the concept, the quality of the urban space, and solutions that promote sustainability.

Makasiiniranta was formerly the proposed site for the Guggenheim Helsinki. However, the project was abandoned in 2016.

“As for the city, we are committed to providing the area with a solution that is very ambitious in terms of quality but also feasible at the same time,” said Vapaavuori.

“We owe it to Helsinki and all its future residents to finally give the area the esteem it deserves.”

Images: City of Helsinki

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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