The long, winding journey towards a Guggenheim outpost in Helsinki, Finland has effectively come to an end before it could even really begin. Yesterday, the Helsinki City Council voted 53-32 against financing the project, after the Finnish government already rejected state funding for it back in September.
Guggenheim Helsinki, of course, was a controversial idea from the start. While supporters touted the economic benefits of a major tourist destination on the city’s waterfront (see: the “Bilbao effect”), many thought the plan, first surfaced in 2011, was simply too expensive with its estimated total cost north of $140 million.
Still, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation moved forward with an unprecedented open competition, which eventually found a winner in a series of charred timber and glass pavilions conceived by French firm Moreau Kusunoki Architectes. The contest drew a mind-boggling 1,715 entries from around the world.
According to the Helsinki Times, the Guggenheim Foundation has no further plans to find funding for the project. So it’s so long to Guggenheim Helsinki (but you can relive its weirdest moments right this way.)