Jyväskylä City Library
Restaurant Töölönranta is situated by Töölönrana bay, next door to the National Opera, both buildings designed by Hyvämäki-Karhunen-Parkkinen Architects. On the same site, a summer café designed by Aarne Ervi was destroyed in a fire in the 1980s. The highly visible location within a delicate park landscape led to a design that is carefully adjusted to its landscape and appreciative of its natural surroundings: the low compact building is partly embedded into the slope. Viewed from the neighbouring Opera, the most catching characteristic is the L-shaped skylight rising above the roof level. This serves as the backbone of the building, dividing it into two both physically and functionally. The public section with its steel and wooden structures and a fully glazed façade open towards the bay while the kitchen service facilities are situated in the section made of concrete and embedded in the slope.
The public spaces with their glazed walls enclose the courtyard facing the coastline. The large glazed walls mainly face east, and the protruding eaves also provide screening from the sunlight. Enclosed on three sides, the courtyard provides shelter on the restaurant terrace which is welcome in this northern climate. It also serves as a stage linking the interior and exterior, where all kinds of events or performances can be arranged throughout the year. The scale of the building was kept moderate through the use of slanting roofs. In this way, extensive overshadowing of the terraces and the pedestrian and bicycle way could also be avoided. The lush plantings, the walls, and the pergolas play an essential role in the exterior architecture.
Text: Finnish Architectural Review 2/1998