HELSINKI NATIONAL LIBRARY
LIBRARY & CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
CONSTRUCTION AREA: 15.500 m²
LIBRARY, EVENT SPACE, CAFE, RESTAURANT, PUPLIC SAUNA, BOOKSTORE
The building site has a narrow rectangular shape. Stretching about 150 meters from north to south. Situated in the heart of Helsinki, with the main cultural institutions as its closest neighbours. The city to the south and the open Green Park and waterfront to the north.
The sloping landscape is the foundation of the design concept for the new library. A ramp leads one form the main plaza to the library’s public functions. The ramp turns into a bridge spanning across the inside of the library leading one to the west façade, where another ramp, takes one to the library’s green roof top, framing the neighbouring cultural buildings along the way.
The design is composed of two floating and interlocked volumes, stretching the length of the site. They contrast each other in materiality, sensuality and purpose, but they interlock not only in form but also in function.
Different city spaces are defined by its composition and immediate neighbours. At day time, the west façade appears like a floating white fabric volume. At night, the louvred façade vanishes in the light from inside, exposing the activities, circulation and life to the plaza, and marking its cultural purpose in Helsinki.