The Heart of the Metropolis Helsinki Central Library
Thesis by Chiara Gramaccia
Contact email: email@example.com
University of Rome SAPIENZA - Faculty of Architecture U.E. Speaker: Prof. Luca Reale
A.A. 2012 - 2013
On the occasion of the centenary of Finnish independence, the Helsinki City Council launched a competition for the construction of a new Central Library. The initiative is part of the World Design Capital 2012, an international award awarded to the city of Helsinki for its ability to reinvent itself through design, improving its social, cultural and economic life.
The new library will be built in the heart of the city, in the bay of Toolo, an area that plays a very important role at an urban level (given its centrality), at a landscape level (the bay of Toolo includes the Toolonlahti natural park) and at a historical level - architectural (given the proximity of the Finnish Parliament, the Finland Hall, the Music Center and the Sanoma House). The inauguration of the library is part of a larger project with which the Finnish government intends to promote culture as one of the country's strategic economic and social development principles, encouraging internationalization, multi-culturalism, bi-multilingualism and prevention of social exclusion.
The central library will be the largest public library in the metropolitan area, both in terms of facilities and in terms of services. According to estimates, it will receive around 5000 visitors per day. Characterized by a functional mix, in addition to the basic library services, there will be spaces for events, leisure and learning. For these reasons, the library aims to be a creative and dynamic environment, which includes a diverse mix of culture and arts.
The Central Library will complement the urban fabric of the Töölönlahti area and define its central urban public space. The project, in fact, also includes the arrangement of the square, and has the aim of filling the urban void and at the same time enhancing it from an urban-architectural point of view, creating a seam, in terms of the urban landscape, between the existing and the new, between the city and nature.