Lohja Main Library

Lohja Library completes the ensemble of civic institutions in the heart of the city of Lohja by repairing the lost connections between the city’s public facilities. New public routes are created, important views are framed and the fragmented scales of the city are balanced.

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The library shapes the public space to funnel views to and from the library, school, civic centre and medieval church.

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The library has two main open spaces, on different floors at opposite ends of the buildings. The ground floor has areas for children and young adults in a light-filled double height space to the south end of the building, and more private study and seminar areas to the north. Upstairs has larger, more open, spaces for bookshelves and reading clusters. Staff offices and access points are spaced throughout the building.

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Within the library functions are arranged according to two main principles; creating an atmosphere filled with natural light, and giving specific views outwards. The enclosed sides and open ends naturally create a line of site between each of the city’s institutions, with the added benefit of channeling natural light throughout the building.

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Inside, the lines of bookshelves are fanned around a point to keep an unobstructed line of sight and light. At points this is broken up by smaller seating clusters underneath large light-cannons; huge cones that funnel light into the library from above. The light cannons give each cluster an atmosphere of its own with distinct acoustics and light conditions.

The brick and copper trimmings recall the trending aesthetic of Lohja's historic city centre.

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Projektin yksityiskohdat

  • Sijainti: Lohja, Finland
  • Vuosi: 2005
  • Kokonaispinta-ala: 3500m2
  • Asiakas: City of Lohja
  • Suunnitelma: Library and study facilities
  • 01Full Profile

    Lohja Library completes the ensemble of civic institutions in the heart of the city of Lohja by repairing the lost connections between the city’s public facilities. New public routes are created, important views are framed and the fragmented scales of the city are balanced.

    The key to creating the atmosphere of a civic centre was to always keep a visual connection between the institutions. Outside, the public space is shaped to funnel views to and from the library, school, civic centre and medieval church. Whilst inside, the open ends and closed sides of the building direct the visitor to specifically framed views. In order for the library to become part of this ensemble, rather than standing out, the scale difference between the adjacent tall commercial building and the low-level historical structures is balanced. The library creates a mid-point, balancing a human scale with larger massing.

    Within the library functions are arranged according to two main principles; creating an atmosphere filled with natural light, and giving specific views outwards. The enclosed sides and open ends naturally create a line of site between each of the city’s institutions, with the added benefit of channelling natural light throughout the building. Inside, the lines of bookshelves are fanned around a point to keep an unobstructed line of sight and light. At points this is broken up by smaller seating clusters underneath large light-cannons; huge cones that funnel light into the library from above. The light cannons give each cluster an atmosphere of its own with distinct acoustics and light conditions.

    The library has two main open spaces, on different floors at opposite ends of the buildings. The ground floor has areas for children and young adults in a light-filled double height space to the south end of the building, and more private study and seminar areas to the north. Upstairs has larger, more open, spaces for bookshelves and reading clusters. Staff offices and access points are spaced throughout the building.

    The brick mass and copper trimmings of the library reference certain parts of the local aesthetic. The red brick is seen throughout the city; from the accents of the medieval church and the walls of the city hall, to the many clay rooftops throughout Lohja. The copper trimmings too become a reference to the vernacular, a balance between the entirely copper clad commercial building next door, and gentle trimmings on other buildings around the city.

    The library is based on a simple structural grid of concrete elements embedded into the brick walls of the library; to keep the library floor clear of columns where possible. Along the grid lines the brickwork gives way to reveal a small glimpse of the concrete. The lines of this continue to wrap around the interiors in the form of contrastingly dark lighting ducts and flooring; creating repeating bands throughout the library.

  • 02Credits

    Photos: Jussi Tiainen

  • 03Media Kit

    Download our Media Kit for publication material on the project, including images, drawings and texts. Downloads are password protected.

    To get the password, email jonne.ahvonen@lma.fi stating your name, organisation and reason for downloading our files.

    Terms and conditions of use are included in the Media Kit.

    Download