The modern library is more than a space to store books and information, it’s a place for the citizens of Helsinki to feel at home, share and interact in; a shared urban Living Room.

This project is highly concerned with this notion of the library as a public place and interface, studying and building upon historical examples like Forum Romanum, The Baths of Diocletian and the Helsinki Senate Square while pointing towards the history of the site as a public domain for the (sub)cultures of the city, inhabiting the blank canvas, making it their provisional place of interaction and creation; a new public realm open to everyone.

The library is an integrated part of the connective tissue of the city; both serving as a connecting device and an accumulator of flows while generating new trajectories as an urban armature. The building is bridging the park and the city, tying them together, while at the same time being a miniature version of both – as a framed picture of the city and the landscape.

The program and physical space of the library, under which the park is floating in, could be understood as a cloud or frame; a penetrable volume with fluid thresholds and transitions that change shape according to changing demands and interactions, while consisting of its own microclimatic conditions and circuits. One can enter and exit the volume from all sides, creating seamless flows and interactions with the park.

Year: 2012
Location: Helsinki FI
Size: 10.000 m²
Collaborators: Søren Jensen, Colourcloudstudio