22-30 Hopefield Avenue
Belfast, BT15 5AP
The international open competition for the proposed Guggenheim art gallery in Helsinki attracted a record number of entries, our proposal was one of a small number to receive a special mention and to be exhibited to the public.
The project takes a sensitive approach to the historic city and harbour, proposing the building as a permeable urban block, forming a new public street, ferry terminal and defining a promenade along the quayside. The building can be approached and entered from all these directions. The galleries enclose a garden with its grove of trees, a cafe with an open plan kitchen and herb garden.
The main galleries sit under a series of dimly lit and voluptuous vaults reflecting natural light from hidden sources. As one ascends to the roof terrace one can walk among the external expression of these vaults. Collectively they form a rarefied and abstract order at the scale of the harbour area, one that contrasts with the tacitly and intimacy of the lower building around the garden. The proposal seeks to create richly varied spaces that city residents can return to again and again.