helsinki metsä

This was an entry for a large international competition for the main public library in Helsinki, Finland. This competition project took the name of Helsinki Metsä which is forest, in Finnish. The name was used to represent a new library ecology that reflects a dynamic and adaptable structure of systems, while also representing the collective nature of people. The site of the library is long and narrow with significant restrictions due to future subterranean development. A large cantilever allows the interior space to be opened up and organized around a central atrium while also extending the connection of the library to the outside.

A series of garden spaces are offered along the west-facing elevation serving as open-air terraces during the mild seasons of the year, which transform into interior garden spaces during the winter. These were designed using the principles of ecology gardens that connect to the ventilation system and purify the building air. These winter gardens are lined by beautiful fabrics of 50-60% open weave that would be developed with an artist. When deployed and gently inflated with air to provide thermal properties, the building would be transformed, adding both a visual and real warmth to the building. The garden spaces are enclosed with glass skylights above, so there is still a vertical sense of being outdoors.

The building was designed with mechanical and structural consultants to the rigorous sustainability standards of the competition brief.

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