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Guggenheim Helsinki isn’t the only show in town

Amos Anderson Art Museum unveils bold vision for new home

Amid discussions about whether the Finnish capital should have its own Guggenheim, Helsinki’s privately funded Amos Anderson Art Museum has published the final plans for its new home, which is scheduled to open in 2018.

The museum’s director, Kai Kartio, says: “We want to be Helsinki’s venue for new media, virtual reality and immersive art.” The institution aims to attract around 100,000 visitors a year.

The Amos Anderson museum, which was established with a bequest from the entrepreneur after which it is named, is to move into the Modernist Lasipalatsi (glass palace) in the heart of Helsinki. It will be near Kiasma, the national museum for contemporary art, which reopened in March after a six-month-long revamp. Kartio hopes that the move will help to create a “museum mile” in central Helsinki, with the Amos Anderson focusing more than Kiasma on emerging artists.

Meanwhile, the city still has to give the go-ahead for a proposed Guggenheim museum. The six shortlisted designs went on show in the Helsinki Kunsthalle on 25 April (until 16 May), and the winning design is due to be announced in June. Kartio is among those supporting the Helsinki satellite. “Discussions around it made clear that there is a need for a big new kind of museum like ours,” he says.

To house the Anderson museum, Lasipalatsi will be partly rebuilt and an underground floor added. The Finnish architects JKMM are designing the conversion—a €50m project. Konstsamfundet, a foundation established by Anderson, is funding the work, and the city of Helsinki has donated the building.