Inside the giant : a sauna tango dance hall for Helsinki South Harbor

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Inside the giant : a sauna tango dance hall for Helsinki South Harbor

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Title: Inside the giant : a sauna tango dance hall for Helsinki South Harbor
Author: Groth, Megan
Abstract: This thesis project began as a competition for a new masterplan for the Helsinki South Harbor in conjunction with the Helsinki 2012 World Design Capital. In January 2011, it was announced that the Guggenheim Foundation - at the request of the City of Helsinki and the director of the Helsinki Art Museum - would conduct a feasibility study of a possible Guggenheim Helsinki on the site of the now unused Kanava Terminal in the Helsinki South Harbor. Though the project was voted down, it raises interesting questions about what belongs on this site that is so important to Finns as a symbol of the city and the country's place in the rest of the Baltic and world. The Guggenheim proposal identified the need for a center within the Helsinki South Harbor, a place for community to gather and for visitors to gravitate toward in an attempt to understand Helsinki. The project was meant to present the multiplicity and richness of the country and culture through the art and iconic museum building. The proposed Guggenheim Helsinki raises the question of the nature of the museum and its role in community building. The trend toward unfettered globalization and the increasing role of supranational entities in everyday life would suggest that at some point in the near future the gravitas of a global art museum will lose its appeal to locals and tourists. As the world continues to become smaller and the downtowns of global cities continue to be sanitized in the name of tourism, it is the messy, authentic moments that will be the biggest draw. Based on Georges Bataille and Mikhael Bakhtin's theories of festival and the grotesque body, this thesis proposes that instead of another international art museum, the Kanava Terminal site be shaped using a different model of community formation - the festival. During the festival space-time the codes of society are identified, scrutinized and debunked only to emerge refreshed and redefined at the end. Through festival transgressions the community is made stronger and more able to understand itself and its place in the world. With this theoretical framework in mind, the thesis proposes a sauna tango dance hall for Helsinki South Harbor.
Description: Thesis (Master's)--University of Washington, 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/20677
Author requested restriction: No embargo

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