April 23: Southern Finland tour – Turku Main Library
The main branch of the Turku City Library is an elegant classical edifice, designed by Karl August Wrede and built in 1903, plus a large new modern wing designed by JKMM Architects and built in 2007. The new wing is one of my favorite examples of Finnish contemporary architecture.
Within the new wing: the interior space of these chairs has really weird tinkly acoustics.
Looking into the courtyard and beyond to the old wing.
The main staircase, of generously shallow slope, has these Aaltoesque railings inset into the sides.
I really like the wood mullions in this window and wish that they were more frequently used in curtain walls.
Stacks and counter next to the stairs.
The sun coming in this window, the main curtain wall of the front face, was pretty glary, which was the only sizable fault I found with the new wing's design.
A glimpse of the old wing's roof.
There was a spiral stairwell in the corner, painted red inside.
Alkukirjain (Initial Letter) by Saara Ekström, one of several artworks in the new wing.
Looking across the outer end of the upper main floor. The whole material palette is quite elegant. I really like the coffered ceiling and the square piers, and the verticality of the interior and exterior windowpanes.
The top of the side stairwell, basking in the sunlight coming through the front curtain wall. Board-form concrete is used throughout, another pleasing tectonic decision.
Looking out the front window.
Red sun in the stairwell.
Back side of the original building, from the courtyard.
The new wing from the courtyard.
The old building has neat details too, such as these skylights.
The airy rotunda of the old wing.
The original front façade ("BIBLIOTHECA").
Down the street — old + new.
The expansive view back into the library through the main window (there's the stairwell again).