National Library of Finland
Helsinki Music Centre opened its doors to the public in 2012. It was built in the heart of the city, on the site of old rail yards facing the Parliament House, and serves as the city’s classical music concert hall and home to Sibelius Academy, the only university-level music institution in Finland.
The Finnish Government, the City of Helsinki and the Finnish Broadcasting Company held an international architectural competition to design the Music Centre with a 1,500-seat concert hall and facilities for Sibelius Academy and various other functions. The two-phased international architectural competition held in 1999–2000 received 243 entries during the first phase and 68 during the second.
The Turku-based office LPR Architects won the competition with their entry “A Mezza Voce” [with a moderate voice]. From an architectural perspective, this means to tread lightly without disturbing the surrounding landscape. With this in mind, and sensitive to the already famous landmarks within the proximity – Finlandia Hall and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in addition to the Parliament House –, the designers conceived a structure that is both restrained and elegant.
Professor Juhani Pallasmaa in the Finnish Architecture biennial 2010–2011 jury report:
“This project is an exceptionally demanding architectural brief in terms of the urban context as well as the logistical, functional, technical and acoustical complexities. Yet, the building takes its place in the central urban space of Helsinki elegantly and courteously.”