The Helsinki City Council voted 75-8 to approve the Design Development phase of the Central Library, effectively completing its full budget of 98M€. ALA will now proceed into Construction Documents preparation.
Ground work on the library site in Töölönlahti will begin in September 2015 and the main construction a year later. The library will open to the public in December 2018.
The 16,000 square meter (approx. 172,000 square feet) library building in the heart of Helsinki will consist almost entirely of public spaces. It will serve as the new central point for the city’s impressive public library network.
The project, which was awarded to ALA through an international competition, is based on the idea of dividing the functions of the library into three distinctive levels: an active ground floor, a calm upper floor, and an enclosed in-between volume containing the more specific functions.
This concept has been developed into an arching form that invites people to utilize the spaces and services underneath, inside and on top of it. The resulting building will be an inspiring and highly functional addition to the urban life of Helsinki and the nationally significant Töölönlahti area.
The project, boasts a unique set of programs, such as a ground floor cinema, second story sauna, “Nerd Attic” and dreamy “Book Heaven” that is topped with a cloud-like undulating roof and includes a distinctive outdoor “Citizens’ Balcony.”
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Architect: ALA Architects
Project Team: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Niklas Mahlberg, Aleksi Niemeläinen, Anna Nyyssönen, Pauliina Rossi, Pekka Sivula, Tom Stevens, Tuulikki Tanska, Nea Tuominen, Jussi Vuori and Erica Österlund
Collaborators: Pöyry CM (project manager), Ramboll Finland/UK/Denmark (structural engineering), Finnmap Infra & Sipti Infra (geo planning), Projectus Team (HVAC), Insinööritoimisto Lausamo (electrical engineering), Insinööritoimisto Markku Kauriala (fire safety), Gravicon (BIM coordination), VIZarch (renderings), Arup (energy technical specialist, mechanical engineering, structural engineering and facade engineering in competition phase), Klaus Stolt (scale models)
Program: 16,000 m2
Client: City of Helsinki
Status: In Progress
Competition: 2013 1st prize