Helsinki Files 09: Architectural Anatomy

I’ve honestly never heard this song, I just searched “library” and this popped up. It seems surprisingly fitting, so enjoy it.

Helsinki Library cover

I’ve been excited to post about this project since I photographed it. I think it is an excellent example of contemporary Finnish architecture. It is fresh. It is clean. It is quiet. It is fun. It is the Helsinki University Library.

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 3

The exterior facade is actually sort of confusing and is perhaps my least favorite part of the building. It is by no means bad, but the interior is just so nice. Just wait. You’ll see.

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 2

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 1

Once inside the building, you are confronted by this atrium composed of stacked ovals that decrease in size as you move up the building. It is the exact opposite of most building atriums, and is very cool.

University of Helsinki Library_Atrium 2

This post is called “Architectural Anatomy” because, you must agree, this atrium looks like a digestive tract or something. Right???

University of Helsinki Library_Atrium 1

These rings you see from below that make up the atrium are lined with workspace on the levels above.

University of Helsinki Library_Desk facing Atrium 1

It is simultaneously cool and annoying. I suppose it is a cool place to work, but I wish I could walk up to the edge and look down.

University of Helsinki Library_Desk facing Atrium 2

There are also secondary atriums that face those large curves of glazing visible from the facade.

University of Helsinki Library_Secondary Atrium 2

University of Helsinki Library_Secondary Atrium 1

Aside from all these cool spaces that have great sectional qualities, the building is very clean and modern. It is just a nice place to be.

University of Helsinki Library_Chill Zone

Apologies to all the innocent, Finnish students that were photographed and published without their permission. If you have an issue with any of these photographs, please get in touch with my secretary. She will be certain you are compensated for any trauma I may have caused. Her contact info is posted somewhere in this +3 year long blog… good luck finding it…

University of Helsinki Library_Study Space

University of Helsinki Library_Stacks

Though I am not sure if this next photo is taken in an area that qualifies as part of the Helsinki University Library, it illustrates one interesting point. Notice the cold blue of the apertures and the warm glow of the interior. It is fairly common to have very warm materials and lighting in Finnish buildings as it is a reaction to the bitter cold and dark days of winter.

University of Helsinki Library_Warm Interior

Have you ever seen concrete look so warm?

Only a few more Helsinki posts. Be strong. 

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