About

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.

Location

Koskikatu 25, Joensuu
62.601708, 29.751417

Images

Main entrance, Joensuu City Library
Main entrance, Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Joensuu City Library
Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Courtyard facade, Joensuu City Library
Courtyard facade, Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Joensuu City Library
Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Book hall, Joensuu City Library
Book hall, Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Joensuu City Library
Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
1st floor lending section, Joensuu City Library
1st floor lending section, Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Ground floor reading room, Joensuu City Library
Ground floor reading room, Joensuu City Library (© Jussi Tiainen)
Opening parade in 1992, Joensuu City Library
Opening parade in 1992, Joensuu City Library (© Matti Piiroinen)
Site plan, Joensuu City Library
Site plan, Joensuu City Library (© Tuomo Siitonen Architects)
Scale model, Joensuu City Library
Scale model, Joensuu City Library (© Tuomo Siitonen Architects)