The design grows from the dynamic between the site and the goals of the library program. The key concept is the interplay between the building’s three individual floors.
The public plaza in front of the building will continue inside, merging with a catalogue of meeting and experience features. The ground floor will be a robust, busy and frequently updated space suitable for quick visits and walkthroughs. The active, zero-threshold public spaces will be visible, attractive, understandable and welcoming to all visitors.
The traditional, serene library atmosphere can be found on the top floor. This will be a calm and contemplative area floating above the busy central Helsinki. It will offer unobstructed, majestic views to the surrounding park and cityscape.
These two contrasting spaces that perfectly complement each other are created by an arching wooden volume. The spaces inside the volume will be enclosed and more intimate. The wooden volume is stretched vertically to create connections to the open main floors below and above.
During my internship at ALA Architects in Helsinki, I spent most of my time working on the Helsinki Central Library. The original design won the international competition in 2013 and construction has recently begun. I was responsible for the children’s library on the top floor and material testing throughout the building. The library is set to open in the summer of 2018.
Cost: €96 million
Rendering of the children’s library