Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / STL Architects

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, a city committed to finding the evolving nature of culture in an ever changing society, is the inspiration behind STL Architects’ proposal for the new Library. If a library is a container of culture with the mission of making knowledge available to the people, then Helsinki is one of the greatest libraries in the world. The new Helsinki Central Library is conceived as a reflection of its city, acting as a filter of cultural activity, and honoring the lifeblood of the Heart of Helsinki: its people. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Plan 01

© Milovann Yanatchkov

In the virtualized information era, Plan 01 believes the design for the Central Library should be more than ever a “physical space”. The project should be a place for sensory experience, a place where culture becomes an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas, a place where the civil forum is recovered from the virtual and returned to the urban world. Their concept becomes a symbol in stone and wood that opens its heart to the city and offers visitors a retreat for body and mind. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / FIRM a.d. + OKB Architecture

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The Helsinki Central Library, designed by FIRM a.d. and OKB Architecture, is a hub of knowledge, where different people, communities and constituencies can come together. With their concept of ‘Geologies of Information’, their design expresses how if libraries were like sedimentary rocks, where layers of knowledge accumulated over time, libraries of the 21st century are like igneous rock in which different mediums of knowledge and learning are fused into a granular heterogeneous whole. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Marc Anton Dahmen | Studio DMTW

Courtesy of Marc Anton Dahmen | Studio DMTW

Aiming to provide a meeting place for information, knowledge, skills, and stories, the proposal by Marc Anton Dahmen | Studio DMTW for the Central Library competition reflects the creativity, innovation and interaction for the people of . Resulting in the sculptural massing of the building, their design derives from the creation of an vertical circulation element, connecting the building by transiting from one function to another throughout the entire collection area. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / PRAUD

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PRAUD shared with us their concept proposal, titled ‘The Heart of the Metropolis’ for the Central Library competition. With the intent for a building that serves a larger civic function by creating a space for congregation at an urban scale, their library design aims at becoming a ‘Living Room’ for the city. The result is a true metropolitan building that not only creates a dialogue with the city, but one within the architectural language, making it timeless and essential for . More images and architects’ description after the break.

UNBUILT HELSINKI at the Museum of Finnish Architecture

Courtesy of the Museum of Finnish Architecture

Opening at 6:00pm tomorrow at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, UNBUILT is an exhibition about the Unbuilt City and its inhabitants as part of the World Design Capital 2012 program. Drawn from the museum’s archive and beyond, unrealized projects in are studied by a team of researchers who generate new relationships with local resources in order to translate the projects into architectural models. Their findings and the narratives behind the buildings are displayed in an exhibition at the museum. The event is curated by Åbäke and Nene Tsuboi and will be up until February 24. For more information, please visit here.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / PAR + Arup

© Labtop

In contrast to the other buildings in the Töölönlahti District of Helsinki, an essential component of the design by PAR and Arup for the Central Library involved creating a public space at the top of the library—visually connecting Töölönlahti to Senate Square and the city at large. The library is organized by six intersecting axes that afford spectacular vistas while creating a variety of spatial configurations for the library’s program. With it’s six floor levels each pointing toward a celebrated landmark, the Central Library becomes a symbolic center for city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / OODA

Courtesy of OODA

The proposal for the Central Library by OODA tries to merge the most efficient program articulation with a strong concept which intends to suggest the overall theme integrated with Helsinki’s context. Their building acts as a shifting point between the two demarked city urban networks – ancient and modern – merging both, creating a public path that connects to the park while it simultaneously generates the formal composition. The new central library will be much more than a traditional library. It will be a dynamic entity, fully equipped, comprised of the physical spaces themselves as well as technology, library collections, staff, tourists in an all-age designed forefront building. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Djuric Tardio Architectes

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Djuric Tardio Architectes shared with us their concept,’The Storytelling Tree’, for the Central Library competition. The starting point for their design begins with the book, a never ending memory, which can tell us stories and tales from here and elsewhere, like a hundred-year-old tree. As the roots of the tree are anchored firmly to the ground, the culture is firmly anchored to books, made with paper obtained from the tree itself. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Ghirardelli Architetti

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The proposal by Ghirardelli Architetti for the Central Library aims at being a place for everyone: open and accessible, usable and public. A public square animated by exhibitions, events and music. They propose a building where stratigraphy tells the plot of common feelings, the need of investigating, experimenting and understanding: all this is gathered and preserved in the libraries all over the world which people of all ages have given their contribution to, showing their own direct bond to the first trace given to build our memory. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Kubota & Bachmann Architects

© Jigen

Located at a strategic point within the city of , the ‘Shared Dreams’ proposal for the Central Library conforms to the proposed massing and urban regulations, while endeavoring to give a coherent response to the program and the environment. Designed by Kubota & Bachmann Architects, the variety of the urban conditions will be, from the very beginning, reflected in the concept of the building and the organization of spaces. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Light Forest: Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / MenoMenoPiu Architects

© +imgs

Situated in the new green heart of , the ‘Light Forest’ proposal for the Central Library intends to replace the existing green that the architects will subtract to the park in a perfectly controlled indoor environment. Occupying 4500m² of the site, MenoMenoPiu Architects decided to conceive the building as a tree forest enclosed in a climatic box, in which the structure represents the causality of the wood. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Silo 468 / Lighting Design Collective

© Tuomas Uusheimo

Architects: Lighting Design Collective
Location: , Finland
Lead Design: Tapio Rosenius, Oscar Martin, Rodolfo Lozano, Victor Soria, Gorka Cortazar, Reinaldo Alcala, Rodrigo Arcaya
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hannu Iso-oja, Tapio Rosenius, Tuomas Uusheimo

Light Lab 5.1 / VAV Architects

© VAV Architects

Architects: VAV Architects
Location: ,
Architects: Pablo Bolinches Vidal, Darragh Breathnach, Daria Leikina
Collaborators: Veniyana Lemonidi, Matteo Goldoni, Jonathan Russell, Nicholas Dunlop, Tati Leonteva, Alexandra Polyakova, Tereza Scheibova, Anna Podrouzkova, Libor Mládek, David Buhagiar, Aulon Harizaj, Jim Walsh
Area: 7 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: VAV Architects, Jonathan Russell

Snøhetta Exhibition and Lecture

Wolfe Center for the Arts by Snøhetta / © Bruce Damonte

Taking place at the Museum of Finnish Architecture October 10-November 25, the Norwegian architecture, landscape architecture and interior design office, Snøhetta, is showcasing their firm and its work in videos, computer animations, 3D models, photographs, drawings, and texts. Presented in eight sections, the first section looks at the practice itself and its offices in Oslo and New York. The following five are devoted to five key projects: the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, the Ras Al-Khaimah Gateway Development, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, all presented with accompanying scale models. The highlight of the exhibition is a touch-screen display providing fingertip access to data on 100 of Snøhetta’s projects.

The exhibition was produced by the Norwegian National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design with Snøhetta. It was commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and brought to by the Norwegian Embassy in Finland. For more information, please visit here.

Niemenranta Elementary School / ALT Architects + Architecture Office Karsikas

© Ikola & Vahtera

Architects: ALT Architects +
Location: Oulunsalo,
Design Team: Martti Karsikas, Kalle Vahtera, Antti Karsikas, Ville-Pekka Ikola
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Ikola & Vahtera

Video: Tempeliaukkio, Rock Church / The Helsinki Series


With over half a million visitors a year, the Tempeliaukkio or ‘Rock Church’ is one of Helsinki’s most treasured landmarks. Designed before the Second World war in 1930, and built in 1968 by by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, the Lutheran church was constructed within an excavated rock formation. Apart from its impressive architectural features the glazed dome hovering above the church ensures the structure is bathed in natural light throughout the day. speaks to Timo Suomalainen about winning the architectural competition for Temppeliaukio in 1961, Helsinki’s modernist movement and how he was inspired by growing up on a Finnish Island, surrounded by natural landscapes.

Paasitorni Hotel / K2S Architects

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Architects: K2S Architects
Location: , Finland
Project Architect: Juha Sundqvist
Head Designers: Mikko Summanen, Kimmo Lintula and Niko Sirola
Design Team: Mikko Näveri, Matias Manninen, Tommi Terästö, Elina Tenho, Tommi Mauno, Teija Tarvo, Jarno Vesa, Outi Pirhonen, Tetsujiro Kyuma, Kristian Forsberg
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of K2S Architects