Site: Helsinki, Finlandia
Promoter: Cuidad de Helsinki
Architecture: FSGROUP Engineering
Collaborators Ainhoa del Río, Olatz Iñigo, revirtualiza
A library is a physical space where citizens make information that comes from multiple sources and that takes on changing forms their own.
The information can be endowed with a physical appearance or, on the contrary, be an immaterial content.
At this time, when knowledge comes from both material and spiritual sources; of physical objects, as of digital content, of books, as of bites, this duality is becoming more and more accentuated and creates divergences between generations and educational levels, which are often irreconcilable.
The library is the last redoubt where access is still allowed and where obtaining information is free. However, it does not have the character of a public space, nor the restrictions that characterize the private, which is why it is included in what is called the Third Space.
In a library, there is no commercial benefit in knowledge transactions. It is a facility that pursues the training and cultural improvement of citizens in a disinterested way.
Verticality is associated with the concept of the Monolith, whose appearance represents a leap in evolution. This upright form clearly manifests its urban superiority, and its prominent presence is made tangible by its volumetric abstraction. The Monolith is a “machine” of perfect geometry produced by a superior intelligence, which appears in different locations, marking key moments in human evolution and representing the indestructible capacity for knowledge concentrated in a perfect prism with sharp edges.
Libraries must proudly show cities the importance of their mission, their social responsibility and their value to the community. They must be the new beacons, the new bell towers of contemporary culture.
The Central Library of Helsinki is committed to the vertical character of knowledge, adopting the formalization of two easily identifiable volumes in the profile of the city, which represent these two separate universes of knowledge. One of them is formed by superimposed planes located at variable heights, the other by a continuous spiral, with the same slope and with the same rhythm.