The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation won’t take no for an answer. Two years after the City Board of Helsinki rejected a proposal for a Finnish version of the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Foundation is trying again. First it revised its operating plan for the museum (reducing projected costs while increasing projected revenue). Then, with a party at the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice in June, it launched an architecture competition, organized by British consultant Malcolm Reading. Now it is reveling in the news that the competition drew 1,715 entries, which a museum press release calls “the largest number of entries recorded for a competition of this kind.” Jurors, who include Chicago architect Jeanne Gang and former Columbia architecture dean Mark Wigley, will begin going through the entries in November.
But the outpouring from architects doesn’t guarantee support for the project in Helsinki. The earlier proposal was rejected in part because of the estimated cost of the building—$160 million—money some said would be better spent on local institutions. The new plan makes many concessions to local sensibilities, including a promise to show Finnish art.