This is a competition design for a public library in Kerava, near Helsinki, 2003. The building is organized on three levels–two for the public and one for staff. The aim is to create visual and spatial continuity between all floors, making each floor visible from the other two. The overall character of the interior is of a single space composed of a variety of smaller spaces.
The library wraps itself around the reader. Floor, ceiling, wall, and books suggest a continuity between vertical and horizontal. As much as possible bookshelves and circulation are integrated, so that books act as space and circulation edges. In that way they surround rather than ‘occupy’ space.
Sectional possibilities are explored in the project. Spaces are defined as much by variation in ceiling height as by plan outlines. A variety of void volumes are produced for different uses, from intimate spaces to large multi purpose areas. The roofs are sliced with light, which penetrates the entire volume, unifying all levels.
Each of the four facades responds differently to the surrounding context. The long side on Passikivenkatu corresponds in height and scale to the buildings across the street, while the field facade is more monumental in response to the large space of the playing fields. The south facade, seen by incoming traffic on Passikivenkatu, reveals the section of the building. The back facade is broken down into individual components (stair, elevator) to more easily correspond to the scale of the anticipated residential buildings.