Turku City Library in Turku, Finland by JKMM Architects

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Located at the historical centre of the city, the new building is the latest summation to a complex with the old library and respective other historically valuable architectures. The project's objective was to make a new construct that should harmonize with the historically invaluable setting while also evidencing an architecture of its own age.

Constructing the building on the outer perimeter, architect could provide an open space in the middle of the lot, reserved for a courtyard for recreation and a stage for cultural events. The building comprised in two stories, the staff areas are located on one side of the building facing the street. The first floor contains a reception and lounge area, a children’s and youth section, and a modernized version of a periodicals reading room called the news market, which links between the new lib and the old buildings.

The main room of the new building is reached through a main stairway, which opens to a monumental space containing the non-fiction stacks and reading areas. The guiding principle in the space planning was flexibility; the functions of the library may change radically in the future with the introduction of new media. The rooms are open, and the functions are limited only by the transformability of the easy-to-move furniture.

European Oak are wiely used in the interior wall furnishing and furniture. Building structure was constructed from concrete cast on site, which was left exposed as an significant part of the interior design. Glass was given a seminal role both in the outer architecture and the interior world. From the first steps of the planning process it was clear that the excessive use of glass would be the best choice. Transparency is the fittest type of building, that a public library building should raise the openness idea.

Architects: JKMM Architects
Main Designer: Asmo Jaaksi architect SAFA
Design Team: Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen, Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Mikko Rossi, Katja Savolainen architects SAFA, Päivi Meuronen interior architect SIO
Landscaping: Molino Oy
Structural Design: Narmaplan Oy
Lighting: Eficientysul
Main Contractor: NCC Rakennus Oy
Constructed Area: 6,900 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Arno de la Chapelle, Asmo Jaaksi, Harri Falck, Jonny Holmen, Jussi Tiainen, Michael Perlmutter, Patrik Rastenberg