27 Jun 2021 • Kirkkonummi, Finland
Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri
The new library building called Fyyri in Kirkkonummi, Finland, exemplifies how libraries can be vibrant multipurpose buildings without losing any of their core concept as distinct places suited to reading, research and learning for all age groups.
Kirkkonummi is a small town near Helsinki built around its Medieval stone church. Facing the church, the old city library is transformed to create a new civic center, called Fyyri, with the copper shingle cladding.
Fyyri is an adaptive reuse project built using the existing concrete structure of the original 1980s library. The 80s building is remodelled, doubling its volume, and introducing a large variety of accommodation for community uses.
The design approaches this community function and non-commercial quality of Fyyri as integral to creating a civic foundation that is about solidarity and well-being for Kirkkonummi as it grows to accommodate more inhabitants including a new wave of Helsinki commuters. The fact that the interior design of Fyyri was considered an important part of the commission by the City of Kirkkonummi shows that the municipality understood that their residents will experience this remodelled library as a concrete expression of Finnish values.
Kirkkonummi Library represents a new generation of Finnish libraries. They are no longer solely about books, but about sharing knowledge and experiences through multiple channels. This phenomenon has changed the library typology: making them into places for learning and meetings not unlike a community hall. The ommunity function, non-commercial quality of Fyyri is integral to creating a civic foundation that is about solidarity, well-being for the city.
The reading rooms respect the Finnish Modernist tradition of libraries ennobling the idea of books and learning through their highly crafted design and carefully detailed interiors. The interiors include bespoke lighting with brass fittings creating warmth and also a sense of dignity that is in keeping with the building typology.
Fyyri is inspired by its surrounding coastal landscape particularly in the tonality of its interiors. It is designed to be welcoming and also intimate in a way that enables everyone to find their rightful home in the building. By reusing the 80s structure, the interior also has the sort of unanticipated spaces that come with working with older structures. There are cozy spaces and hideaways too perfect for children’s stories.
The interiors' play on local nature in the choice of subdued colours and of materials like wool and felt upholstering and the role of integrated art and fitted furniture are emphasised in continuing the architectonic qualities of the building. Slatted timber walls and ceilings also feature in a way that blurs the division between the hand of architect and that of the interior designer.