The Helsinki University of Technology Main Library was completed in 1970 to complement the campus complex designed by Alvar and Elissa Aalto. In 2016, the upper floors of the library were restored and a new learning centre was opened in the former book depository spaces in the basement. The architects in charge of the project were Teemu Tuomi and Tuomo Remes of NRT Architects and the interior design is by Päivi Meuronen of JKMM Architects. The renovation was awarded the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2017.

The architectural core of the Otaniemi campus by Alvar and Elissa Aalto consists of a scenic space flanked by red brick buildings. The flowing spaces of the library interior with its rich details beautifully illuminated from above represent easily recognisable Aalto architecture.

With the establishment of Aalto University, steps were taken to develop the campus buildings with a view to future uses. The library building has been renovated and renamed Harald Herlin Learning Centre. The exterior was left intact, as were the library halls with their fixtures and details. The functional changes necessitated by advanced library services have been carried out with due regard to the original concept while retaining the option to revert to the original design. A new learning centre open to public was built on the floors originally reserved for a book depository. Its architectural solutions with bare, partly dismantled frame structures and modern interiors add a fresh contemporary touch to the familiar surroundings.

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2017 winner

Location

Otaniementie 9, Espoo
60.1844887, 24.8284572

Images

Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Ground floor, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Ground floor, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Architects NRT)
1st floor, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
1st floor, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Architects NRT)
Basement, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Basement, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Architects NRT)
Section, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre
Section, Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre (© Architects NRT)

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