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Kaisa House - Helsinki University Library

Antti T Seppänen

From commerce to culture: a story of urban transformation in Helsinki.


This is a story of urban transformation. In the city center of Helsinki, a vacant area previously occupied by a commercial center has been transformed into the new university library designed by Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy. The short film by Anti Seppanem follows the whole process, from the demolition of the old building to the opening of the new one.

The derelict spaces of the former commercial center, abandoned and degraded, are replaced by the new building. The live footage of the work in progress shows how complex the building site is and how accurate the realization. Once finished, the library reveals its dialogue with the surroundings in terms of materials and scale. But it also shows its own peculiar character defined by three wide curved cuts in the facade, one for the entrance and two as windows towards the city. The interiors are comfortable and well-lit and people seem to quite appreciate them especially in their ability to fit the various needs users may have for intimacy or openness.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy
Mentioned project: Helsinki University Library (2013-2015)
Project location: Helsinki, Finland

Finland 2015
Duration: 4'47''