This public library, situated in Helsinki, Finland, also contains a cinema, a multipurpose hall, shops and a ''Children's World''. The architecture of the library expresses its position in the city as an important and inviting public institution. The shape is solid and seeks a contextual relationship with the Finnish Parliament and the Finlandia Hall.
The public character of the building is articulated through an iconic void carved out of the shape. This clearly defined space expresses the library´s availability to the city and works as “the new metropolitan living room” of Helsinki. The “living room” is meant to appear accessible, inviting, inspiring, cosy and comfortable both on the inside as well as seen from the outside.
The space is designed to move from a clearly defined entrance area up to the book collection at the ''Top shelf''. The different parts of the library are gathered around and connected through the “living room” ; as people move from the park up to the book collection, they pass different terraces, lounge areas and activity spaces connecting with the library program. All the different components of the library have a visual connection to the “living room” and have the ability to open or close, expand or contract into this space.
The facade facing the plaza is designed to make the entrance and the interior of the library clearly stand out. The west side plaza is proportioned in relation to the building.
The plaza has an open, urban character towards the west and becomes a park towards the north.
The multipurpose hall, the cinema, the restaurant and the “Children’s World” can open up towards the plaza.
The new metropolitan livingroom
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Type: Competition entry