Eliel Saarinen described his twofold training as an architect and an artist with the words “cool mind, warm heart”. The combination of two seemingly opposites is also the concept for the new Guggenheim Museum.
With its intelligent glass shell it possesses a “cool mind”, and with its freestanding, wooden-clad exhibition core a “warm heart”. The intermediate space between the two is a climate-protected urban space, constituting at the same time the foyer and an event and reception space. The double glass shell forms a transparent facade in which the permanent building-services are visibly arranged.
The intelligent building-services control system becomes an important and prominently visible element of the architecture, making the urban-planning concept and the architectural function of the building intelligible. Depending on the weather and the season, the more expressive wooden-clad exhibition building is visible through the shell. Balconies on each exhibition floor provide stunning views of the city, the neighbouring park, the harbour and the ocean.