Unusual Architecture + [Seinäjoki]

Seinäjoki, Finlandia: [SEINÄJOKI LIBRARY EXPANSION BY JKMM ARCHITECTS]
JKMM Architects

The civic centre of Seinäjoki is a uniform building complex designed by Alvar Aalto. The building complex showcases Aalto’s exquisite touch from the details of door handles to the scale of urban planning.

JKMM Architects

The centre is a masterpiece of modern architecture and a highly valuable cultural environment. The library was completed as part of the civic centre in 1965. An example of Aalto’s famous series of library designs, it served well as the town’s main library for over four decades.

JKMM Architects

With the expansion of the town and evolution of library activities, however, it was no longer able to meet today’s demands. As a solution, the town decided to co-locate a modern building with the current library, so that the resulting two buildings would merge into a single functional complex.

JKMM Architects

An architectural competition was organised for its design in 2008, in which Finnish studio JKMM Architects won with their project ”Apila” (”Clover”). The aim of the progect was to initiate a dialogue between the new and the old part.

JKMM Architects

The new building had to respect the protected cultural environment while making a bold statement as a piece of modern architecture. Another important challenge for the designers was the changing content of library activities. The role of the library is undergoing a transformation as a result of the rapid social change and new modes of communication.

JKMM Architects

Information is easily accessible through the Internet and other electronic media. It is thus conceivable that once looking for actual information no longer plays a central role, the significance of the library as a place for interacting with information will be highlighted.

JKMM Architects

Its key mission is to provide a setting for encounters, meetings and events. Encouraging the users to be active, rather than passively receiving information and services, is also important. In other words, the library has to be a versatile, flexible and adaptable public space.

JKMM Architects

To attract visitors, a well-functioning library must provide experiences. In Seinäjoki, particular attention was focused on the collections for children and young people, which were developed from the perspective of the younger user groups.

JKMM Architects

At the core of the new building’s interior design is a large central reading terrace, a venue for events and a place for spending time, which leads the visitor to the collections downstairs and, through a subterranean passage, to the old library.

JKMM Architects

The terrace underlines two important themes of the interior: the significance of providing a place for encounters, and a functional link between the new and the old building.

JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects

JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects
JKMM Architects

Location: Seinäjoki, Finland Architects: JKMM Architects Main Designer: Asmo Jaaksi – Architect SAFA Project Team: Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen, Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Aaro Martikainen (project architect), Teemu Toivio (project architect) – Architects SAFA, Harri Lindberg – Arch. Student, Päivi Meuronen (interior design) – Interior Architect SIO Structural Design: Magnus Malmberg Oy / Eero Pekkari Hpac Design: Ylitalo Oy / Pekka Nykänen Main Contractor: Rakennusliike Timo Nyyssölä Oy Area: 4,430 sqm Year: 2012 Client: City of Seinäjoki Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo , Mika Huisman, Hanu Vallas