Kiasma - Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art


A contemporary art museum built between 1993 and 1998, the Kiasma is situated along Mannerheimintie in Helsinki. The facility houses exhibits from the contemporary art collection of the Finnish National Gallery founded in 1990. The primary goal of the Kiasma is to educate the public on contemporary are and therefore strengthen its status. The Kiasma's was designed by American architect Steven Holl. His work, Chiasma, for which the building is named, was selected from 516 voters. Holl's design was chosen above four other internationally renowned architects, making the building a much disputed and controversial work of art. Many Finns were upset by the selection of the American's design above those of Finnish modernists. On top of the controversy surrounding its construction, critics also complained about the location of the museum. Situated between the equine statue of C.G.E. Mannerheim and the city's main post office, the area was believed to be inappropriate and to small to serve as the building's home. Critics also argued that the museum spoiled the background of the statue of the Finland's national hero. With all the conflict surround its construction, a small protest movement sought to halt construction of the facility. In all, nearly 20,000 signatures were collected in protest against the museum's design and location. Construction, however, trudged on and the building became an undisputed success. The Kiasma officially opened in May 1998. Its opening was celebrated by an array of festivities. More than 30,000 people attended the event. Subsequently, the museum was established as a national and local meeting spot. In May 2001, Kiasma had the honor of welcoming its millionth guest. An additional five years later, and the museum doubled the amount of guests who had visited since its opening. Today, the Kiasma offers a wide range of activities for its guests. Along with main attractions, it offers short-term shows and projects in Studio K and Kontti. More than 9,000 pieces of art can be found within the various themes of its exhibitions.





Kiasma - Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art Mannerheiminaukio 2
FIN-00100 Helsinki, Finland

+358 (0)9 173 361
+358 (0)9 1733 6503


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