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  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • Helsinki Central Library
  • LOCATION: HELSINKI, FI
  • CLIENT: THE CITY OF HELSINKI
  • SIZE: 13.400 m² NEW BUILDING
  • YEAR: 2012
  • STATUS: COMPETITION PROPOSAL – CLOSED
  • ARCHITECT: CEBRA
  • ENGINEER: RAMBOLL UK

This design proposal’s basic intention is to create an urban square inside a public building, i.e. a city space that is an integrated part of a building as well as the city. By flipping the traditional introvert shopping plaza to a vertical position a vertical plaza emerges.

The central open space acts as the visual and infrastructural focal point that ensures accessibility and direct views from the lobby to all of the floors and variety of functions while at the same time offering a visual and spatial connection to the city. The library’s collection is laid out as a loop around this open space so that all categories can expand in both directions along the loop, thus ensuring a high degree of organisational flexibility.

Alongside this “trail” a series of zones are located – casual meeting points and rest areas for immersion. These public spaces are organised in subdivisions of varied specialised spaces with clearly defined functionalities. The specialised spaces take into account the varying working methods and learning styles that demand different degrees of transparency, openness and sensitiveness to sound and light. The specialised spaces are connected to the path along the loop and are oriented towards the central interior space.