Smoke Sauna in Asikkala
The architecture of Joensuu Library fuses postmodern urban consciousness of the 1980s with neofunctionalist aesthetic ideals of the early 1990s – the building is a result of an architectural competition held in 1981. The library building adapts to the scale of the town and contributes to the local, closed nature of urban space, but it is not afraid to take its role as an important public building with symbolic value. The open library landscape is like a miniature city with passageways and bookshelf blocks under a high-flying roof.
In 1992, the citizens of Joensuu symbolically carried the library books to their new library building, carrying also a banner that said “The library is alive!”.
The text is an extract from the chapter ‘The Library is Alive!’ of Mind-Building, Finland’s exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.