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JKMM Architects – Seinäjoki Library, 2012

JKMM Architects – Seinäjoki Library, 2012


JKMM Architects :  http://www.jkmm.fi/

The civic centre of Seinäjoki is a building complex designed by Alvar Aalto, of which the library is a part, completed in 1965, that served as the town’s main library for over four decades. With the expansion of the town and evolution of library activities, however, the town decided to co-locate a modern building with the current library, so that the resulting two buildings would merge into a single functional complex.

Dividing the new building into three sculpture-like sections helped to reconcile its large volume with the scale of the civic centre, while keeping its distance from the pre-existing outlines and materials. It was placed in the middle of lawns, as a building in a park. The dark copper of the facades stands out from the whiteness of the surrounding Aalto buildings, the contrast helping to detach the new from the old.

At the core of the new building’s interior design is a large central reading terrace, a venue for events and a place for spending time, which leads the visitor to the collections downstairs and, through a subterranean passage, to the old library. The gradually descending, interlinked spaces are a connection with the sunken areas typical of libraries designed by Aalto. The multifarious interior spaces merge into each other in an open plan, opening up carefully designed views.

The perspective of sustainable development was taken into account in the design solutions. The high-quality building materials have a long life span. The compact overall shape, good thermal insulation values of the shell and air conditioning system with heat recovery guarantee that the building has a high energy efficiency value; all large windows face north, minimising thermal loading from the sun.


architects: JKMM Architects /Main designer: Asmo Jaaksi – architect SAFA

location: Alvar Aallon katu 14,  60100 Seinäjoki, Finland

surface: 4 430 sqm

year/status:  2012 (built)

structure: cast-in-site concrete structure

materials: copper, concrete and glass

client: City of Seinäjoki

contractor: Rakennusliike Timo Nyyssölä Oy

project team: JKMM Team: Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen, Juha Mäki-Jyllilä, Aaro Martikainen (project architect), Teemu Toivio (project architect) – architects SAFA, Harri Lindberg – arch. student, Päivi Meuronen (interior design) – interior architect SIO

photography: Mika Huisman, Tuomas Uusheimo,Hannu Vallas

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