Kiasma, Helsinki

Kiasma (built 1993–1998) is a contemporary art museum located on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki, Finland. Its name kiasma, Finnish for chiasma, alludes to the basic conceptual idea of its architect, Steven Holl. The museum exhibits the contemporary art collection of the Finnish National Gallery founded in 1990. Its central goal is to make contemporary art better known and strengthen its status.


An architectural design competition to design a contemporary arts museum in Helsinki was held in 1992. The competition was meant for architects from the Nordic and Baltic countries. Five internationally renowned architects participated among whom there was only one US citizen. In 1993 the work Chiasma by the American architect Steven Holl was selected from the 516 competitors. The construction of the disputed and controversial Kiasma was started in 1996. It was opened in 1998.