Urban Environment House
The Main Library of Rauma has a significant role to play in the townscape. It acts as a unifying element in the field of space formed by buildings of different ages and a park. The low-built library, with its timber façades, refers to the delineation of urban areas in Old Rauma, the town’s historic centre, and the element of surprise contained therein.
The transparency of the library building communicates the openness of its operation. Towards the canal the library forms sheltered courtyard spaces, which can be used for theatrical performances and other events.
The principal part of the building has a reinforced concrete frame, with the exception of the reading room, which has a frame of glue-laminated timber. The façade materials are painted timber and glass. Silkscreen printing was used to create patterns emulating the lightness of lace, in the making of which Rauma has a long tradition, to the glass parts of the façade.
The building is based on the Lahdelma & Mahlamäki’s winning entry ”Laituri” (Pier) in an invited architecture competition in 2000. The principal architect of the building was Ilmari Lahdelma.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 6/2004