Helsinki Central Library international competition

Helsinki Central Library international competition

Project: Helsinki Central Library international competition

Location: Helsinki, Finlandia

Team: Francisco Botella, Clara Aramburu, Fernando Martín-Consuegra, Will Sibia, Isabel Aranda, Julio Dominguez Nevado, Jose Luis Gómez, Antonio Aramburu, Ignacio Revuelta, María Fernández, Mar Herrera

Client: Ayuntamiento de Helsinki

Date: 16/03/2012


Our proposal seeks to provide maximum response to the existing  urban and cultural context, with respect to the urban layout while maintaining a unique image that optimizes the presence of natural light, visual diversity and the combination of local materials with new technologies.

To accomplish this, we base our idea on functional and aesthetic principles that seek to both integrate and connect the library building with its urban environment, its social context, its historical surroundings, and the climatic requirements of the program.

The layout and the location of the plot demands a solution with two main façades each with a distinct character and design. The eastern façade is more abstract and urban, being as it is situated facing the city center by what of Töölönlahdenkatu street. while the western façade takes an organic nature. Apart from being directly exposed to cold northern winds, this façade receives low amounts of solar radiation due to the proximity of future or existing neighboring buildings. The shape of the façade on this side is round, with a rhythmic arrangement of holes that are seen through the slats and due to their orientation create a changing perception of the façade from day to night with the display of light shafts behind the slats.

On the other hand, the west façade of the building maintains more openness to attract or catch warm winds and sunlight, meanwhile offering spectacular views of some of the most representative buildings in Helsinki grouped around the future Makasiinipuisto park.

On the northwestern side, the plot limits have been modified slightly to allow even more entry for sunlight and articulating the building’s relation with the old railway warehouses.

Continuing to the area which opens on to the park, a series of landscaped spaces have been created within the building, accessible from nearly all the floors of the library.