EU Libraries Express Silence In Motion

Work spaces surround this opening and allow great light and views.

The new main library at the University of Helsinki in Finland by Anttinen Oiva Architects is the largest academic library in Finland.

Built in the heart of the city’s historic core, the building does a good job fitting into it’s context by matching adjacent buildings in scale and the use of the gridded brick facade which mimics window fenestration. The large hyperbolic arches announce that it is new and give the facade movement. The exterior arches are reflected inside by use of holes in the floor plate creating multiple atriums in the building.

It is a beautiful use of curved geometry and limited color. Colorful books and natural wood floors and furnishings add warmth to the white surfaces.  I would be glad to study in this bold, yet subtle building!

The oval holes get successively smaller as they go up, creating a nice illusion.
The building was designed to fit well into its context.


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4th Floor Plan
4th Floor Plan

Many miles south, a new library in Italy speaks volumes, quietly.

In the Italian town of Lonate Ceppino, Italian architects DAP studio have converted a former chapel into a library by adding a perforated aluminum tower.

The juxtaposition of the heavy masonry chapel and the lightness of the perforated metal allow the structures to have a quiet dialog, without pulling focus away from the historic chapel.

A skillful adaptive reuse of the old chapel by lightly attaching an addition which fits and is beautiful on its own.
An exploded axonometric shows how the parts fit together as a whole.

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