**VOTED 3rd place by the Finnish public in a public exhibition of over 544 schemes ****
Helsinki Public Library | Finland
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The project utilised an innovative tectonic principle of a continuous post-tension timber surface that permeates through the building and mediates the organisation of spaces, circulation, natural ventilation and day-lighting. The surface compresses numerous structural principles within one continuous post-tension assemblage that shifts from operating as a self-supporting post-tension compression system to that of a cable-net suspension structure, while also performing as a non-structural suspended ceiling at the top floor and as permanent formwork at ground level for two large column bases. The shifting of these tectonic conditions imbue the light timber surface with characteristics unique and intrinsic to its negotiation of space, form and structural force, providing a very expressive yet coherent tectonic to the project.
The library also incorporates state of the art environmental systems utilising both passive and active features to ensure a high level of user comfort is provided at minimal environmental and economical cost. The black timber exterior easily conceals an array of black photovoltaic cells and thermal collectors on the rooftop whilst mechanical systems have also been integrated into a low-energy consumption BIM system.
Robert Stuart-Smith (director), Gilles Retsin, Isaie Bloch, Stella Dourtme, Felipe Escudero
Matthias Schuler (director)