Helsinki Central Library

Helsinki Finland

Typology

  • Institutional › Cultural
  • Institutional › Public Spaces

Client

Helsinki City

Team

Nigel Jooren, johan Cool, Salvador Quiles palanca, Ioannis Gio, Eddy Soete, Kenneth Nguyen, Julie Verstraete

Collaborators

office9 + Ingenium nv

Status

Competition idea - 2013

Size

14 530m2

The physical form of the library material is losing its meaning. How can we respond to this in a pro-active way? Libraries are no longer storage or distribution points of books and other physical media. The digital culture and entertainment industry providing us television, games, and social media communities adopted by most of the youngsters create a challenge for the traditional operational modes of the library. the library material is increasingly more often immaterial, temporary or independent of place.

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The new central library has to complement with the urban fabric and communicate with the other buildings in the area. Helsinki needs a timeless building with flexible and fixed event-orientated spaces where people can gather, socialize, share thoughts and knowledge.

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The user should have the experience of walking in a small city within the larger city context. We should be critical in finding the right balance between creating a pro-active physical platform that brings people together and the digital library that doesn’t necessary encourages people to connect in real time. The keywords are credibility, inspiration and pro-activity. The building should reveal how it works yet hold mystery and create meditative areas for self-reflection. Parts of the building should work like a culture house, other parts should emphasize on library activities. The strength and potential of this library of the future lies in the presence of these two complementary worlds in the same space.

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The multipurpose room is placed in the middle of the activity acting like the heart of the building. In suitable seasons it becomes an adjustable indoor-outdoor space where activities and events could be held. It allows an active connection from the ground floor with the park and the surrounding context.

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