Porifera Central Library Competition Entry, Helsinki 2012

PORIFERA CENTRAL LIBRARY Competition Entry, Helsinki 2012
Team: Sophia Vyzoviti, Irgen Salianji, Charis Siaravas, Pablo de Souza, Christos Bletsas, Karolina Szostkiewicz

Finnish Landscapes have provided deep inspiration for the generation of architectural forms. In this spirit, we propose a formal concept for the building of Helsinki Central Library developed as a dialogue between the luscious curves of Finish coastlines and the rational rectangular urban grid.
In the shape of a porous slab the building becomes an abstraction of a new artificial landscape situated at the cultural cluster at the heart of Helsinki downtown.
Responding to the particular qualities of the location which is a threshold between a green cultural hub and a railway landscape, ‘porifera’ becomes a porous border, a strong linear urban figure that is transparent and permeable.

Supported by big vertical ‘pores’, the hollow solenoids that enclose the core of the library´s collective programs and provide structure, ventilation and lighting shafts, the buildings interior is a natural evolution between the complex and dynamic curves of the ground floor, that fit perfect within an open plan layout for fluid programs, and the straight lines of the second and third floors, that hold the library’s collections and reading rooms. 
The ‘pores’ provide isolated ideal spaces for reading, working, meeting and concentrating, the quiet oasis. In their extension to the upper floors they appear as open air spaces inside the building, courtyards providing open air reading in gardens and introducing to the interior fresh air and sunlight. The public functions of the Library are placed primarily on the ground floor, creating a direct connection with the city life. The first floor is dedicated to “learning and doing”, forming a smooth intermediate floor to the collections areas. The forth floor of the building hosts the publicsauna in an enclosed atrium and the staff facilities.

The parameters unanalyzed and addressed in this proposal acknowledge the relationship of the citizen with education, the emergence and support of existing forms of urbanity, the density and stratification of the library program, the interaction with city life and the possibility of spontaneous appropriations of the building that may invigorate the library function.


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