Architecture, Design and Urbanism Competition Results Archive
Architecture, Design and Urbanism Competition Results Archive

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Finalist 146 Wave

The proposal from Stage 1, which was, in a positive way, modest, restrained and rather enclosed, has been developed further in accordance with the given guidelines. The recesses and protrusions of the facade have been emphasised, and the glass walls following the direction of the plot, which gave it a sense of composure, have been decreased, which has led to the disintegration of the totality, making it restless. The scale is now disorienting in these surroundings. The impression is of a three-storey building with excessively high floors.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

The change of the façade material from wood to metal is a technically workable solution, but has created a harsher look for the building. This is emphasised by the treatment of the metal surface, which prevents any patina. The general choice of materials is skilful and high quality; oxidized copper, oiled oak and white surfaces. A certain degree of coarseness would, however, have been appropriate in the library environment.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

The visibility of the entrances has been improved. There is no separate entrance from the direction of the Elielinaukio square. Access is, nevertheless, directed naturally towards the street-side entrance. The caférestaurant facilities can be opened up towards the public square. The covered exterior spaces on the ground level are small.

The entrance floor now functions well and feels spacious. In addition to the required library functions, it comprises a café, restaurant, exhibition space and like feel of Stage 1 has successfully been overcome. Both the cinema and multi-purpose hall are in the basement and with easy access to them.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

The library collections area has been moved to the first floor, which has led to the loss of the spacious library landscape lit with roof lights from Stage 1. The ceiling heights are so high that a partly two-storey space has resulted for the ground and second floors. All floors are of a similar character and with an almost identical ceiling height. The spaces are well functioning, and the character of the interiors is pleasant and calm. Carefully considered views open in many directions from these spaces.

The longitudinal stairwell openings in the middle of the building, and the lightwells connected to them, provide long vistas between the floors and make orientation easier. On the other hand, they divide the middle area of the floors, making them slightly too narrow, thus hindering adaptability. The monitoring of the spaces is partly poor, because on the upper floors there are many sheltered nooks and terraces.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

The service traffic, the loading spaces in the basement and the transport routes for the library collections work well. From the point of view of the library staff, the internal circulation routes are poor. The space reservations for the City Centre Tunnel are in order.

In the folds of the facade, between the floors, are both terraces and ordinary roof planes. Resolving these beautifully and functionally would be challenging. The overall bracing of the building requires adjustment because the suggested light-weight wood construction of the exterior wall and intermediate floors does not have sufficient stability. The floor area and volume of the proposal are too large.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

The building envelope is large and the thermal loss considerable, but the target value for energy efficiency has, nevertheless, been achieved. The proposal comprises a considerable amount of glass surfaces, which together with the partly unfinished sun protection solutions can make control of the indoor climate conditions more difficult. There is sufficient natural light available for the spaces on the west side.

This is a unique and exceptional proposal, where the further development, however, did not completely fulfil expectations. The use proposed for the former railway warehouse is worth considering and supports an active park area.

Competition Result Helsinki Central Library

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