Helsinki central library

  • LocationHelsinki
  • TypeCompetition, 3rd prize 2013
  • ClientCity of Helsinki
  • Program15 700 m²
  • StatusConcluded

The New Central Library presents a simple, but strong form of joyful architecture, that is both modern and innovative, functional and humane.

The design complements the existing urban fabric while preserving the positive aspects of the existing situation. The design takes into consideration both the small and the big scale of the surroundings. In smaller scale it creates new covered public spaces and in bigger scale provides an active and a distinctly recognizable addition to the cityscape.

From south the long view north towards the Finlandia Hall is preserved by sculpting the southern edge of the block. This maneuver also creates an inviting and an easy-to-find entrance to the new library from the main directions of approach.

The spaces are organized vertically so that the quieter spaces are situated towards the top while the noisier areas are close to the most public functions.
The floor height varies depending on the functions and spaces situated on each floor to provide certain spatial hierarchy and flexibility and modifiability.
The carefully placed voids offer varying heights, views and spatial experiences between the floors. They also enable the user to observe the ongoing activities throughout the building and help in orientation.