Saltkaret Observation Tower
The Vihanti library and local culture centre came about from the idea of combining local cultural work and modern cultural activities in a single building.
An invited design competition was organized in 1985 to find a design for a combined library and local culture centre on the plot next to the existing local history museum. The nucleus of the venture, executed in 1990–91 on the basis of the winning entry by Aitoaho & Viljanen Architects, is the municipal library, which is flanked by youth club facilities, a civic institute, the local culture archives, the local history and mining museum, the business service centre and the recycling centre. The central feature of the design is a curved wall-like building about 100 metres long that houses the library and delimits the open landscape. The existing buildings of the local history museum – two old peasant houses and a windmill – are sheltered by the library.
In keeping with its functional principle, the architecture of the building is based on a dialogue between the traditional and the modern. The building was completely constructed in situ. The frame is mostly of wood, and the building is also faced with wood. The accompanying elements are bright aluminium and sheet metal or have rendered surfaces. The colours both inside and outside continue the juxtaposition theme.
Vihanti Library and Culture Centre was designed by architects Heikki Aitoaho, Kaarlo Viljanen, Ari Tahvanainen, Gunilla Lång-Kivilinna, Vesa-Jukka Vuorela.
The former municipality of Vihanti has been part of the city of Raahe since 2013. Vihanti library and culture centre continues to serve citizens in the population centre of Vihanti.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 6/1992