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Helsinki Central Library
Economic structural solution
New benchmark for energy consumption
New low energy library for Helsinki with 1.5m visitors per year.
Arup is responsible for a full range of engineering services to arrive at a totally integrated and sustainable solution.
The new 16,000m
library building of Helsinki will consist almost entirely of public spaces and will serve as the new focal point for the city and Finland's
impressive public library network.
The project has been selected as the winning entry out of 544 entries from all over the world. Arup is responsible for a full range of engineering services
including energy efficiency, sustainability, structural engineering, building services, facade engineering and fire safety to arrive at a totally integrated,
sustainably conscious solution for the building.
The winning entry is based on the idea of dividing the functions of the library into three distinctive levels: an active ground floor, a calm upper floor, and
an enclosed in-between volume containing the more specific functions. This concept has been developed into an arching form that invites people to use
the spaces and services.
"The architectural concept has required us to develop an economic structural solution combining a 3D arched
element in combination with more conventional building solutions. The project includes a large column free
foyer area at ground level, 27m cantilever balcony at second floor level, a floating cloud roof structure and
the provision for a future tunnel to be built beneath the building."
Paul Dunne, Director, Arup
Arup's team in Dublin worked closely with ALA Architects to realise the challenging energy efficiency target of the competition brief. Arup also
developed sustainable solutions for the building and integrated sophisticated structural solutions to carry out the architectural expression of the
competition proposal. The energy target for the project is equivalent to 120kWh/m2 per annum, which represents a new benchmark for energy
consumption in a modern high-technology library facility.
It has been estimated that the library will attract 5,000 visitors per day and 1.5m visitors per year. The central library is planned to open in 2017 which
will be the centenary year of Finland's independence.

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Consi sti ng al most enti rel y of publ i c spaces,
the l i brary bui l di ng wi l l serve as the new
focal poi nt for the ci ty.
Overview Fast facts
It has been esti mated that the l i brary wi l l
attract 5,000 vi si tors per day and 1.5m
vi si tors per year.
Arup 2013/14