Photo © Tuomas Uusheimo

Although an adaptive reuse project, the library has doubled in its size and appears wholly new built.

Kirkkonummi Library represents a new generation of Finnish libraries. Libraries are no longer solely about books, but about sharing knowledge and experiences through multiple channels. This phenomenon has changed the library typology: making them into places for learning and meetings not unlike a community hall. Finns today see libraries as living rooms outside their homes.

At Kirkkonummi, the copper shingle clad library has a concrete structure which wraps around the main reading hall’s interior. The rhythmic post and beam membranes are left exposed and filter natural light into the space. Another, more informal reading room looks up towards the church tower and gives onto 50 metre long sheltered terrace.

The new library is introducing a variety of spaces for community use such as rooms for toddler group activities, youth clubs as well as exhibition areas and spaces for events and performances.

Indirect natural light filters through this column-like framework creating patterns that are similar to daylight rippling through a forest of trees. Special attention is paid to the children and youth section, echoing the coastal theme in its details. A large scale fitted playing unit with a integrated felt intarsia art piece, invites children to play and release energy. In addition, the youth section focuses on relaxing and spending time while enjoying the books.