Turku’s Museum of History and the Future must exemplify climate resilience

The Finnish city of Turku announced an architecture competition for the inaugural Museum of History and the Future, citing sustainability as a core consideration.

By City Monitor Staff

Turku, the historic Finnish city nestled along the Baltic Sea, has announced a journey into the past, present and future with the launch of an international architecture competition for the world’s first Museum of History and the Future. This endeavour, announced by the City of Turku, looks to marry cutting-edge architectural design with a rich cultural heritage while prioritising sustainability in the face of climate risk.

turku, Finland
Linnanniemi: where the new museum will be constructed. (Photo courtesy of the City of Turku)

The design competition runs until 16 January 2024 and invites architects and visionaries from around the globe to craft a concept that blends aesthetics, functionality, innovation, and sustainability. The winning design will need to respond to the museum’s distinctive harbour-side location and pay homage to Turku’s cultural identity. Perhaps most notably, climate resilience is set to be a primary criterion guiding both the design and operation of this institution.

Turku’s Museum of History and the Future will grace Linnanniemi, a historic port area undergoing a transformation into a proposed cultural hub. It will sit in close proximity to Turku Castle, the River Aura and the Baltic Sea, creating an attraction for visitors and locals. This architectural project is hoped to become a defining landmark, not just for Turku but for the entire region.

Turku looks to celebrate its 800th anniversary with sustainable measures

Turku, Finland’s oldest city, is on the cusp of celebrating its 800-year anniversary in 2029. This milestone presents an opportunity to leverage the city’s deep cultural roots and commitment to health and well-being. Recent cultural investments, such as the opening of Turku’s Art House in 2022 and the forthcoming Music Hall Fuuga, slated for construction in October 2023, illustrate Turku’s progress.

Mayor of the City of Turku Minna Arve, chair of the architecture competition jury, said “In recent years, the City of Turku has made significant strategic investments in culture to strengthen its identity as a European city of culture and an attractive tourist destination. The Art House Turku and Music Hall Fuuga complement the existing art and culture already located along the river Aura. The Museum of History and the Future continues the series of major cultural investments and will enhance the experience of the city for residents and visitors.”

Beyond cultural enrichment, the Museum of History and the Future is charting a sustainable course in line with Turku’s ambitious climate and energy action plan. The city aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2029 and even set its sights on becoming carbon-negative in the 2030s. To attain these goals, the museum must exemplify climate resilience and energy efficiency, setting a precedent for future developments in Turku.

A panel of city leaders, trustees and experts appointed by the Finnish Architects’ Association SAFA will evaluate the proposals. A total of €175,000 in prizes will be awarded, with the winning design taking home €70,000. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2027, with the museum anticipated to grace the Turku skyline by 2029. The doors will officially open to the public in 2030.

Completion of the building is expected in 2029 and the opening of the museum to the public in 2030.

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