We hope that our building will enrich even further Helsinki’s center by creating an exceptionally lively and unforgettable experience for the people of all ages and background.
The new HELSINKI LIBRARY has to be an original and modern space and that is the core of our project design. The library will become the new beating cultural heart of the city as it is located in its center and it incorporates the newest trends in library architecture. The main concept behind our design is the crossing of the dynamical elongated axis of the library building and the emphasized high-rising element that we called the “polar lights bridge”. The building opens up to the park and the green space in front of it. In this manner, we create an interesting multifunctional space that communicates directly with the array of significant Helsinki buildings around it. Not coincidently, all of the floors of the library are oriented towards this space; it coordinates the functions and the communication between all the different activity zones and ensures the active interaction between the various groups of people. Spacious amphitheaters connect the levels that serve as recreational space and enrich the experience of the building. The impressive lobby space is situated in the southern part of the building with access from east and west; it connects all the levels above it. In this way, the design creates a clear urban axis that connects the Parliament building with all the entrances of the new library. Cars, taxis, and bikes can access the building from the west direction. The service entrances are also situated there, at the ground level. The lobby composes the starting point towards all floors by a multitude of escalators that create a clear axis of communication and visual orientation in the building structure. In the main space at level 15.90, we suspended several recreational platforms that offer an amazing view towards both the lobby and the green space outside. A big informational screen also faces the lobby and enriches the impact of the building. The screen flows to the exterior to create the southern and western elevations that are “alive” with the newest information about the ongoing events in the library. A powerful crossing element intersects the elongated axis of the building, spans the length of the lobby and completes the design concept of the building. It holds the restaurant and the sauna and enables those spaces to access the green roof and the marvelous view towards the lake and park. This element, built from PTFE translucent membrane, glows in the dark and emphasizes the powerful architectural image of the library. Thus, the “polar lights bridge” creates a communication space with the museum by Steven Holl and links the new building to the urban concept of the area. The building opens up towards the green space through a powerful green amphitheater that gives access to the hall level at -1.30.