Seinajoki Library
Seinajoki LibraryThe civic centre of Seinäjoki is a uniform building complex designed by Alvar Aalto. The building complex showcases Aalto’s exquisite touch from the details of door handles to the scale of urban planning.

Seinajoki LibraryThe centre is a masterpiece of modern architecture and a highly valuable cultural environment. The library was completed as part of the civic centre in 1965. An example of Aalto’s famous series of library designs, it served well as the town’s main library for over four decades.
Seinajoki LibraryWith the expansion of the town and evolution of library activities, however, it was no longer able to meet today’s demands. As a solution, the town decided to co-locate a modern building with the current library, so that the resulting two buildings would merge into a single functional complex.
Seinajoki LibraryAn architectural competition was organised for its design in 2008, in which Finnish studio JKMM Architects won with their project ”Apila” (”Clover”). The aim of the progect was to initiate a dialogue between the new and the old part.
Seinajoki LibraryThe new building had to respect the protected cultural environment while making a bold statement as a piece of modern architecture. Seinajoki LibraryAnother important challenge for the designers was the changing content of library activities. The role of the library is undergoing a transformation as a result of the rapid social change and new modes of communication.
Seinajoki LibraryInformation is easily accessible through the Internet and other electronic media. It is thus conceivable that once looking for actual information no longer plays a central role, the significance of the library as a place for interacting with information will be highlighted.
Seinajoki LibraryIts key mission is to provide a setting for encounters, meetings and events. Encouraging the users to be active, rather than passively receiving information and services, is also important. In other words, the library has to be a versatile, flexible and adaptable public space.
Seinajoki LibraryTo attract visitors, a well-functioning library must provide experiences. In Seinäjoki, particular attention was focused on the collections for children and young people, which were developed from the perspective of the younger user groups.
Seinajoki LibraryAt the core of the new building’s interior design is a large central reading terrace, a venue for events and a place for spending time, which leads the visitor to the collections downstairs and, through a subterranean passage, to the old library.
Seinajoki LibraryThe terrace underlines two important themes of the interior: the significance of providing a place for encounters, and a functional link between the new and the old building.
Seinajoki LibraryLocation: Seinäjoki, Finland
Architects: JKMM Architects
Main Designer: Asmo Jaaksi – Architect SAFA
Project Team:
Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen, Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Aaro Martikainen (project architect), Teemu Toivio (project architect) – Architects SAFA, Harri Lindberg – Arch. Student, Päivi Meuronen (interior design) – Interior Architect SIO
Structural Design: Magnus Malmberg Oy / Eero Pekkari
Hpac Design: Ylitalo Oy / Pekka Nykänen
Main Contractor: Rakennusliike Timo Nyyssölä Oy
Area: 4,430 sqm
Year: 2012
Client: City of Seinäjoki
Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo, Mika Huisman, Hanu Vallas
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