General Renewal: Municipal Library by JKMM in Kirkkonummi
Client: Gemeinde Kirkkonummi
Architecture and Interior Design: JKMM
Location: Kirkkotori 1, 02400 Kirkkonummi (FI)
The transformation of libraries from walkable stacks to social places of gathering and learning is a phenomenon not only in large urban centres. In Kirkkonummi, a city of 40,000 inhabitants west of Helsinki, the architects from JKMM have doubled the area of the existing municipal library from the 1980s. 4,700 square metres are now available to citizens for reading, recreation and events.
The view of the roof most clearly shows what is old and what is new in the resulting building complex. The expansion surrounds the existing structure in a horseshoe shape and gives the library a cohesive appearance opposite the medieval town church, which dates to around 1500. Scale-like copper shingles cover most of the new south and east façades. Only to the east does a broad, recessed glass front on the ground floor allow views into the newspaper reading room. The gateway-like main entrance on the south face, which is nearly completely closed off, leads into the building. A further, yet different image is offered by the northern addition, which features a large new reading hall. The façade supports stand side by side here. Outside, these are clad with copper as well; in contrast, inside they work with the ceiling joists, which have been kept in the same light shade, to form a diaphanous envelope. The interior design, also created by JKMM, continues the Finnish library tradition of Alvar Aalto. Along with extensive white plasterboard, light-coloured wood on the walls and furnishings, upholstered furniture with pastel-coloured covers and brass lamps set distinctive accents here.