UTS architecture course director shortlisted to design Guggenheim
Mr Urtzi Grau and Ms Cristina Goberna
It’s one of the single largest design competitions in architectural history and UTS academic and architect Urtzi Grau has just been shortlisted. His design team’s proposal was one of six selected to design the proposed Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, Finland from an international field of 1,715 entries.
Master of Architecture (Research) director, Mr Grau is a founding partner of Fake Industries Architectural Agonism. Together with co-founder Cristina Goberna, he collaborated with Carmen Blanco, Alvaro Carrillo, Jorge Lopez and Gonzalo Valiente to produce the shortlisted entry.
Head of the School of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney, Professor Anthony Burke congratulated colleague Urtzi Grau on his shortlisting.
“Urtzi Grau occupies a special place within the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS,” Professor Burke said.
“Our teaching and research is centred on provoking and progressing civic discourse about what we want our cities and built environment to be. Urtzi’s research is precisely the sort of thinking required for a public building such as the Guggenheim Museum.”
While the Guggenheim has long been associated with architecture and design, exemplified by Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry’s landmark buildings in New York and Bilbao, this is the first time it has sought a museum design through an open competition.
“Making the shortlist is a terrific achievement in its own right, and we wish him and his team the best as they develop their final design,” Professor Burke said.
Mr Grau said he was excited and honoured to be among the group of finalists, drawn from entries from 77 countries and representing a wide range of perspectives.
“We are looking forward to further developing our concept design after an additional briefing from the competition organisers, the City of Helsinki and feedback from the jury,” he said.
“While the rules of the competition prevent me from commenting specifically on our entry, we were intrigued by the key challenges posed in the brief - to design a building with strong connections to Helsinki’s historic city centre, South Harbor, and its urban context, while reflecting Nordic ideals.”
The 11-member jury is judging submissions anonymously on the basis of architectural design, relationship to the site and the cityscape, practicality, sustainability and feasibility.
The winning design will be announced in June 2015 and awarded a prize of €100,000 (approximately AUD 146,000). The five runners-up each will receive €55,000 (approximately AUD 73,000).