helsinki central library
helsinki central library

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competition entry

project: 2012

Bevk Perović project team:
Matija Bevk
Vasa J. Perović
Radim Louda
Andrej Ukmar
Ida Sedušak
Irene Salord
Blaž Goričan
Anja Vidic

3D visualization:
Urban Petranovič

New Helsinki City Library should not only be a library facility, but also – more importantly – a new heart of the city.

Its new and unique character is built on the duality of ‘classical’ library space and the contemporary programmatic mix added to it, as well as the specific, open character of its concept.

By suspending the actual programme of the library in the air, supported by a large shelf-like structure of smaller programmes, a new sense of freedom is achieved – the city receives a large entrance area of the library as a ‘gift’ – a climatically controlled field of possibilities, open to innumerable programmatic scenarios.

Ground floor of HCL becomes the living room of the city – a huge open space, protected from the harsh weather conditions of Helsinki, open for colonization with different programmes and activities, connected to the large park-like area, Helsinki’s ‘culture belt’ extending from Kiasma to Finlandia Hall.

On its eastern edge, HCL is ‘lined’ with a ‘shelf’, an element much like a standard bookshelf, containing a mix of all the small programmes (socially active Learning and Doing programmes) of the new library. It is serviced by a system of vertical communications (elevators and stairs) enabling users to create their own itineraries and shortcuts between programmes of the library.