How to design a new heart for a small city
Kirkkonummi is a small town near Helsinki built around its Medieval stone church. Facing the church, JKMM has transformed the old city library to create a new civic center. Although an adaptive reuse project, the library has doubled in its size and appears wholly new built.
Kirkkonummi Library represents a new generation of Finnish libraries. Libraries are no longer solely about books, but about sharing knowledge and experiences through multiple channels. This phenomenon has changed the library typology: making them into places for learning and meetings not unlike a community hall. Finns today see libraries as living rooms outside their homes.
At Kirkkonummi, the copper shingle clad library has a concrete structure which wraps around the main reading hall’s interior. The rhytmic post and beam membranes are left exposed and filter natural light into the space. Another, more informal reading room looks up towards the church tower and gives onto 50 meter long sheltered terrace.