Heart of the Metropolis, the international architectural competition for the design of the Helsinki Central Library today announced six proposals to move on to the competition's second stage. The selected finalists have now until February 2013 to further develop their proposals. The final winner will be announced in June 2013.
Following are the six shortlisted proposals.
544 entries had initially arrived by the hand-in deadline for Stage 1 of the competition. The selection of proposals for Stage 2 was made based on their cityscape, architectonic and functional merits. The jury also established that these proposals could be further developed so that the required technical and ecological objectives can be achieved.
The chairperson of the jury was Ritva Viljanen, Deputy Mayor of Education Services, and before her, up until May 2012, Tuula Haatainen, Deputy Mayor. The chairpersons of the preparatory working group that aided the jury were Maija Berndtson, Library Director of the Helsinki City Library, and Irmeli Grundström, Project Head at the City of Helsinki Real Estate Department.
“With the Central Library, our goal is to develop Helsinki’s urban culture and create a city center where citizens have somewhere to meet and share their ideas,” Ritva Viljanen remarked. “The Central library should not be juxtaposed with smaller, local public libraries. Local libraries are suburban community centers for local gatherings. But areas that are free and accessible to all are also necessary in the city center. Located opposite to the Parliament, the Central Library enhances democracy and grassroots participation, and is known for its Speaker’s Corner.”
The other members of the competition jury are: Tuomas Rajajärvi, Head of Helsinki City Planning Department, Jarek Kurnitski, Senior Lead at the Energy Program at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Tuuli Mattelmäki, Professor at Aalto University, Mauri Ylä-Kotola, Rector of the University of Lapland, and Riitta Kaivosoja, Director General at the Ministry of Education and Culture. The jury members nominated by the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA) are architects Vesa Oiva and Käpy Paavilainen. The jury’s international experts are architect Kjetil T. Thorsen (Director of Snøhetta Architects, Norway), and library expert Rolf Hapel (Director of Aarhus Public Library, Denmark).
All images courtesy of Helsinki Central Library competition.