Anttinen Oiva Architects designed the Main Library at Helsinki University in Finland.

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Project description:

Helsinki University Main Library, the largest academic library in Finland is located in a historically important city block in the very heart of the city centre. The library was designed to offer a wide range of services flexibly to a large number of customers. This imposing building in the centre of Helsinki provides a gateway to the new information age. The new library building complements the urban block by adding a curved brick facade, integrated within the street line formed by the adjacent buildings. The architectural starting point – the cityscape considered – was a vision of a unique public building that will suit its surroundings in terms of its materials, design and height. The dense fenestration grid, which blurs the standard floor division, together with the large arched openings give the library a distinct external appearance. By varying the size of the arched openings the building is fitted as an integrative solution within a situation of three different types of street space.

The design of the building’s interior is based on an aligned series of openings in the ceilings. Three distinct apertures and the main staircase form a series of spaces serving as a basis for the ambiance of the interior, the functional zones as well as the architecture of the façade. The architectural concept of the façade directly reflects the functional solutions of the interior. The facilities have been divided into functional zones with the aim of facilitating the use of the library and its services. This will, in turn, support and facilitate the learning process. The apertures are encircled by walkways and the information zone, which is, in turn, surrounded by the collections zone. Site Area: 3,170 m2. Gross Floor Area: 3,170 m2

Architecture: Anttinen Oiva Architects

Photography by Mika Huisman and Tuomas Uusheimo

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