2012 Tim WitteTim Witte - HCL_Helsinki Central Library

Besides its role as a modern and dynamic central library, the building was designed to serve both cultural and entertainment purposes; a versatile centre of literature, which upon entry reveals itself to visitors as a multifaceted meeting place, exceeding its role as being just a venue for reading and studying.

In regards to the planning of the building, a variety of specifications had to be taken into account. In a prominent location in sight of various landmarks of the finnish capital. The aim was to contrive a structure which pacifies the edges of the surrounding buildings, which to some extent have a chaotic visual effect on bypassers. On the other hand, there was a desire that the architecture should enter into an interaction with the orientation of the existing structures which surround it.
Additionally, the structure needed to have a distinctive orientation to the new urban expanse created by the project, as well as a ground level link route, allowing the structure to be passed by pedestrians. In order to direct additional attention to the newly created architecture, the main building of the central library was to be shifted directly alongside the train tracks.
The structural content of the buildung is derived from the addition of the variety of purposes it is set out to fulfill. View connections with the surrounding urban landscape as well as somewhat whimsical situations invite visitors to engage and in fact become a part of the structure. Aim of the concept is to minimise the chasm between everyday life and the arts, creating and establishing a platform for daily interaction with the arts in modern society.

Visitors will be able to enter the library in the certainty that they will not just study literature, but will also be able to satisfy everyday social needs.

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