– the spirit of the storehouses and the freedom to do will be incorporated in the library
The project plan for the Helsinki Central Library is now complete and the decision-making process begins. The project plan will be processed by the Cultural and Library Committee on 16 September and then by the Real Estate Committee in the course of autumn. After processing by the committees, the project plan will progress to the City Board and next year to the City Council.
“The design of the Central Library has required a lot of work for a year now. I am pleased at how the project planning has progressed according to plan both in terms of contents and costs. A significant project, such as this one, also requires time for the decision-making process and we have allocated six months for the process. So, the construction could start in the autumn of 2015”, says Deputy Mayor Ritva Viljanen who is also the Chairperson of the Steering Group for the project.
“The Central Library together with the possibilities to learn, create and participate that it embodies challenge Parliament as an equal. When the users of the library stand on the library’s balcony that will cover an area of more than 1,000 m2, they will look directly at Parliament, since the balcony will be at the same height as the steps of Parliament House. The Central Library will become a stage for people to be free to do things. At the same time, it will make a powerful statement on behalf of all libraries”, says Viljanen.
The Central Library has been nominated as the prominent project of the year celebrating Finland’s 100 years of independence. The State has made a commitment to finance the project with a significant share of €30,000,000.
The project plan presents, among other things, the construction schedule, building scope and costs of the Central Library as well as the targeted level of quality.
Since the architectural competition ended last year with ALA Architects winning, the design team has been working intensively to refine the designs.
Architectural masterpiece and ecological building
The structural solution of the Central Library, that was considered challenging, has been further developed during the preparation of the project plan. The Central Library will be an ecological building with a small carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of the building materials meets the goal set by the architectural competition, and the energy consumption goal has been further tightened. The unique architectural outline of the building with its cloud-like roofs and warm wooden facades will put the finishing touches on the Eastern edge of Kansalaistori Square.
The Real Estate Department Premises Centre has initiated a dialogue with actors in the woodworking industry in order to discuss the technical solution options for the large wooden facade.
Space open to all
The Central Library will become a shared living room of residents that is non-commercial, public, open to all as well as a space of digital information and diverse activities. The library will continue planning the services and operations of the Central Library together with city residents. The operations of the development community, i.e. the Friends of the Central Library, will be launched this autumn. This is a way for the library staff to invite city residents to discuss the specific design issues of the Central Library with them.
As a new element, the library’s operations will also include a service (tested in the Labrary project) where city residents can explore new innovations and their productisations as well as to give feedback to their creators.