The cityscape in all its variety, the idyllic Baltic Sea, the broad expanse of skyline dotted with spires, and the urbanised plane of Lahti was PAR’s incentive to design a building that concentrates on the vertical. In contrast to the other buildings in the Lahti District, an essential component of the design involved creating a public space at the top of the library visually connecting Lahti to Senate Square and the city at large.
The library is organised by six intersecting axes that afford spectacular vistas while creating a variety of spatial configurations for the library’s program. With its six floor levels each pointing toward a celebrated landmark, the Central Library becomes a symbolic centre for city. Public living rooms are located within the three sloping peaks, the Reading Room, Sauna and Restaurant.
Designed as a spatial sequence with surprising transitions, each floor of the library presents connections from public spaces such as Reading Platforms, Sunrooms and the Observatory to Helsinki’s enduring icons. With panoramic views of the city and Senate Square dome, the Observatory terminates the promenade of escalators and staircases that dynamically rise through the building.
Six teams have been shortlisted for the competition with a winner to be revealed in June 2013. Click here to view more details.