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Helsinki Central Library

MMD competed in an international architectural event for the design of the public library located in Helsinki, Finland. The design for the Helsinki Central Library is not only influenced by the desired program wishes of the building’s operations team, but also by the context of this vibrant and historically significant site. MMD’s sustainable design reflects both historical reference and educational focus.

Organized by two interconnected structures: a natural light-filled reading room and a program-filled structure, that provide an uninhibited spatial experience. The large cut-out in the southern part of the building from the entrance canopy serves as an open and inviting welcome. MMD also formed a public square and park in front of the library to complement the office spaces inside. As an added benefit to the structure, white granite panels line the public entrance and infuse thermal efficiency. MMD also utilized green design elements to promote sustainability, such as a roof that has integrated photovoltaic (PV) panels tied to the electricity grid, and a solar water heating system that provides domestic hot water. The enhanced lighting allows for better visual acuity.


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City of Helsinki
278,460 sq ft
“The design influenced by the context of this vibrant and historically significant site.”