Australian connections in Guggenheim finalists

Two teams with Australian connections are among the six finalists for the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition – SMAR Architecture Studio (Perth and Madrid) and Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (Cristina Goberna, Urtzi Grau, Sydney, New York and Barcelona), Jorge Lopez Conde, Carmen Blanco and Alvaro Carrillo.

An independent, eleven-member jury unanimously selected six concept designs as finalists from the 1,715 anonymous submissions to the international architectural competition for a proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland.

The shortlisted entries come from both emerging and established architectural practices in seven countries. Each offers a distinctive approach to museum design and to the changing role of the twenty-first-century museum.

In accordance with European Union procurement rules, the names of the competitors were not known to the jury, which identified all submissions only by a registration number. While the names of the six teams are now public, the designs have not been matched to the teams, nor will the jurors or public know which team is responsible for which design until the winner has been selected.

Fake Industries Architectural Agonism’s founding partner Urtzi Grau is co-director of the Master of Advanced Architecture Design in the School of Architecture at UTS, Sydney. Grau graduated from the School of Architecture of Barcelona in 2000, was awarded Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design by the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University (GSAPP) in 2004, and is currently completing his PhD at Princeton University School of Architecture on the 1970s urban renewal of Barcelona.

One of SMAR Architecture Studio’s directors is Fernando Jerez, who is also Associate Professor in Architecture at the University of Western Australia. Prior to his appointment at the university he lectured in Architectural Design at Superior Technological School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM) and Technical University of Madrid (UPM). He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Architecture from ETSAM, a Graduate Diploma in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) London, a Master of Fine Arts from New York University and a PhD in Design and History of Architecture from ETSAM. After working in offices in Spain and London, Fernando began his own practice, SMAR, where he has received more than twenty awards in design competitions.

The other finalists in the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition are AGPS Architecture (Zurich, Los Angeles), Asif Khan (London), Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart), and Moreau Kusunoki Architect (Paris).

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said the competition had brought to Helsinki exciting, innovative design ideas from all over the world.

“The jury has chosen six deeply thoughtful design approaches, each of which opens extraordinary possibilities for a Guggenheim in Helsinki and asks us to imagine what a museum of the future can be. We are excited to see the finalists develop the potential of their visionary designs further,” he said.

For more information see the Guggenhein Helsinki Design Competition website.

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