Kirkkonummi Library ‘Fyyri’ shortlisted for the 2021 Finlandia Prize for Architecture

August 31, 2021

The nominees shortlisted for this year’s Finlandia Prize for Architecture are the City of Helsinki’s Urban Environment Division headquarters in Verkkosaari by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, the Fyyri library in Kirkkonummi by JKMM and Ylivieska Church by K2S.

The Finlandia Prize for Architecture is awarded for the design or renovation design of an outstanding new building or building complex that has been completed within the past three years. The purpose of the prize is to promote the appreciation of high-quality architecture and to highlight the importance of architecture in generating cultural value and increasing well-being.

The recipient of the Finlandia Prize for Architecture is chosen each year by an influential public figure who is a recognised expert in an area other than architecture. This year, the winner will be chosen by philosopher Esa Saarinen. It is the eighth time the award will be presented by the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA). The winner will be announced on 4 October 2021.

All 2021 nominees are public sector projects

The Finlandia Prize for Architecture shortlist is chosen by a pre-selection jury appointed each year by SAFA.

“Due to the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, we made the decision to exclude all schools, nurseries, care homes and international projects from the selection process, due to the challenges involved in conducting visits at these sites. As a result, all of the buildings shortlisted this year are public sector projects, as these buildings have remained open and accessible to the public.

What all these projects share is an unstinting commitment to the highest architectural standards, a strong conceptual approach and a well-considered and balanced use of materials. They are all well placed and complement their surroundings beautifully. Importantly, they are also hugely meaningful to the communities that surround them,” explains Saija Hollmén, Chair of the pre-selection jury.

The 2021 pre-selection jury comprised Professor Saija Hollmén, Professor Tuomo Siitonen, Professor Panu Lehtovuori and architect Mona Schalin. The secretariat was provided by Paula Huotelin, Secretary General of the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA).

Rooted in the land and in local history – Kirkkonummi’s main library Fyyri

The jury’s nominee description: “The Fyyri library building in Kirkkonummi was completed in 2020. The principal designer is Teemu Kurkela for JKMM Arkkitehdit. The new building envelopes the original library by Ola Hansson, built in 1982, with the original library retained in its entirety and insightfully incorporated into Fyyri.

The copper-clad facades and white concrete, wood and glass interiors are unapologetically bold and have a sense of vivacity and momentum about them. Inside, Fyyri offers visitors a wealth of opportunities, from state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, a music studio and rehearsal rooms to sewing, storytelling and simply chilling.

The architecture skilfully highlights the twin raison d’être of libraries everywhere: books and reading. The book collection is housed in an east-facing space built using tall and slender concrete structures. The periodicals room and cafe with their low ceilings and horizontal lines take their cue from Kirkkonummi’s medieval church. The design engages in dialogue with the city’s other architectures, creating a truly memorable and aesthetically satisfying urban space.

The main entrance to the library is located in a spot where the historic King’s Road, Finland’s medieval highway, bends. The building forges links with the past while radiating shared meanings for the future.”

JKMM Architects is responsible for the design of Fyyri. The principal designer is Teemu Kurkela, the project architect is Jukka Mäkinen and the interior architect is Tiina Rytkönen.

Further information about the 2021 Finlandia Prize here.

Further details about the Kirkkonummi Library ‘Fyyri’ here.