A design by a French studio, Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, has been selected for the future Helsinki Guggenheim museum, the foundation supporting the Finnish bid for the project announced Tuesday.
"Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, you are the champions of today. You have earned it," the head of the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation, Ari Lahti, said at a press conference announcing the winner of its international design competition.
Their concept, "Art in the City", is made up of a group of rectangular pavilions and a tower resembling a lighthouse with a charred timber facade, to be located in the Helsinki port area, a stone's throw from the imposing presidential palace.
Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, founded in Paris in 2011 by Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki, received 100,000 euros ($112,000) in prize money.
The city of Helsinki authorised the design contest -- which drew more than 1,700 bids -- but has not approved the construction, which will depend on private funds raised by the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation.
According to Lahti, the foundation has already collected more than a third of the funds needed in six months.
"I am very confident that we can meet our target of $30 million dollars raised by the time of the final decision of building this museum is at hand," Lahti said.
Efforts to build a Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital have been plagued with funding problems and political opposition since a 2011 proposal was dropped due to concerns over the price tag.