cultural transparency
helsinki, finland
type of commission
international competition
city of helsinki, real estate department
5'000 m2
15’000 m2 of cultural spaces, education facilities and library areas
project team
manuel der hagopian, grégoire du pasquier, nicolas moser, viet hung, nguyen ngoc quyen, le quang
project date

The new Helsinki Central Library sits at the heart of the city, close to the main railway station and at the eastern edge of the Makasiinipuisto Park. It is neighbour to key landmarks such as the Finnish Parliament building, the Helsinki music centre, the Finlandia Hall, the Sanoma house and the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Its crucial position in the city offers an essential meaning to the project and for it to be treated as an exemplary building both in terms of public access and sustainability. The challenge, therefore, lies in integrating this new central public building in Helsinki so that it blends both locally and, at the same time, globally, as a new model of library on the international scene. The unique profile of the new HCL is to be seen more as an open entity, willing to share its content, than a secret institution holding back unknown information. The new HCL will welcome a public of all ages and origins, without fences. Its strategy will be to integrate all of its surrounding elements instead of rejecting them. The visual and physical relations to nature will become decisive

and breathe new life into the traditional approaches and expectations of a public library.